OSU Snowflakes - The Defense

Submitted by LSAClassOf2000 on November 25th, 2018 at 11:00 PM

This will be the thread for hot takes and snowflakes regarding the defense and defensive playcalling versus Ohio State.



November 24th, 2018 at 4:32 PM ^

Actually, Michigan's defense did really well the last two years against OSU; a modest offense (this offense this year, really) would have been enough.

But Michigan's press man philosophy is clearly vulnerable to precise QBs with talented receivers. It got beat that way against PSU last year and against OSU this year. And, when you think about it, we could see it coming: there's always a play or two in every game where one of our (generally excellent) CBs has given up a step to a receiver and the QB doesn't hit it.

Today we played a guy who can hit it, who was equipped with plays that would get him those openings. They connected on enough of the throws to destroy us. By the third quarter, some key mistakes opened the floodgates, and Michigan wound up playing under the gun without Devin Bush and with a DL that was totally ineffective all game.

That ineffective DL was really where all of this starts. Haskins had all day. Did we record a single sack? Barely even a hurry, much less consistent pressure. The DL just collapsed after the PSU game, it is bizarre. It's not like OSU has a dominant OL; they have flaws everywhere. Minnesota, of all teams, was slicing through it like it was nothing.




November 24th, 2018 at 4:40 PM ^

It’s all YAC with these wrs, how many deep throws did Haskins make? One to a wide open wr in the end zone. It doesn’t take Tom Brady to run, its simple and effective. Now why on earth doesn’t harbaugh implement some short yac type plays? This isn’t the nfl, we don’t need everything to be air yard completions.


November 24th, 2018 at 5:02 PM ^

Frustrating that the crossing routes were not shored up after exposure in last week's game against Indiana.

Unfortunately, the reason it wasn't is because it's not schematic.  It's a function of the DL being unable to pressure the QB.  This has been a growing problem post-Ped State. 

Today, OSU took advantage . . . .


November 25th, 2018 at 12:57 AM ^

Those crossing routes off picks are very different than slants.

Regardless, that's been the OSU MO all season long.  It was very, very obvious that was going to be what Michigan needed to stop and they didn't do it.

I don't think it was so much a pressure issue because those are not long developing plays.  They're quick.  We needed a zone or something other than watching Watson get beat time and time again.

And then when they did go zone, OSU put guys in the gaps.  Wide open.  Just poor preparation.

And that's Michigan's biggest problem: they do not treat this game with the focus they need.

We spend too much time and effort trying to blow out bad teams instead of giving ourselves the best chance against the good teams.  DB had nightmares about PSU. He said he thought about last years game every morning.  So we went out and crushed them.  But they had an entirely different team and coach.  So who cares that we won that game by 100?  We had our starters in late and were disappointed not to get the shutout. 

That's the sign of a program with the wrong priorities. I'm sure DB is going to have nightmares about this game for 364 days but it shouldn't take a beatdown for that to be the focus.



November 24th, 2018 at 6:32 PM ^

That was a really low bar today.

The score is less indicative of the difference between the teams and more the shortcomings of playing man defense against good throwing QBs with athletic WRs who can protect. I don't know how many teams there are in the country who have that combination, but Ohio State clearly does with Haskins who has basically lit this defense up the last 6 or so quarters.

Goggles Paisano

November 24th, 2018 at 4:31 PM ^

We lost this game due to one reason only and that is we got zero pressure on Haskins.  I don't think we had a QB hit all day and had maybe one QB hurry.  The only time we hit him was when he was 8-9 yards downfield after a nice run.  I just don't understand how we could not generate any pass rush.  It looked like we were playing with 10 guys on defense and they all had sprained ankles.  After watching Willekes dominate their tackles, I am at a loss for how bad we looked today.  

Because of the lack of pass rush, I'm not even going to talk about Watson.   What happened out there today Donny Brown?  


November 24th, 2018 at 5:33 PM ^

When you have the talent and riches that OSU has, they can easily rest on their laurels, play sub-100% all year, and then really turn it on when you finally have to.

Alabama does this all year. That’s why they stay so fresh and uninjured.

Injuries only happen on maximal effort plays.

Devin Bush hurts himself at 100% effort pursuit.

It’s why LeBron has stayed healthy his entire career. He’s rarely above 80% of maximum exertion his entire career.

The Fan in Fargo

November 24th, 2018 at 5:10 PM ^

Yeah I hate bashing these young men on this defense. I'll stick up for them though because you cant expect them to consistently cover these speed guys for that long. I cant believe the defensive line played that way. Chase and Gary did nothing for the pass rush. The defensive tackles haven't done anything all year so that was expected. Hopefully next year they have an answer for this same offense and talent. They'll be as good next year or better so you gotta figure something out. The defensive line needs to work their ass off and get stronger and quicker. That's the only answer there. Ambry needs to grow up quick. Maybe Daxton Hill is a difference maker in coverage. Need a lot of those young linebackers to get in the weight room because Bush will be gone probably. He shouldn't though. He wasn't elite out there against same or better talent. Hopefully Lavert and Long come back. We all knew they had to get hits on Haskins and they never did. 

I Like Burgers

November 24th, 2018 at 6:05 PM ^

Agree.  Assuming he goes pro, I'm really not sure what Michigan misses.  He's not disruptive at all.  Feels like he could be replaced with just about generic 4 star.  Where he gets drafted will be pretty interesting.  The combine numbers should be off the charts, but the tape on him?

Was always waiting for the light to go on with him.  Never really happened.


November 24th, 2018 at 4:12 PM ^

Live by the sword. Die by the sword.

If you're going to play man defense and not get home, you are going to probably be in for a long day. OSU clearly had the athletes to make Michigan pay.

I'd argue the bigger issue is that there is no backup plan. They looked out of sync when they were trying to run some zone defense in the 2nd half.