Strange Defensive Formations At Times

Submitted by those.who.stay. on October 25th, 2009 at 1:11 PM

I don't really want to discuss much the play of the defense. It is too soon and I'm not really in the mood to talk about the execution side of yesterday's game. However, I did notice some very strange formations out there at times.

For instance, IIRC Penn State lined up in a two wide set. Woolfolk was lined up at corner, Warren was lined up as safety on the same side and Ezeh was in man coverage against the other WR.

Seemed crazy to me. Anyone else notice this?



October 25th, 2009 at 1:21 PM ^

Yep, I haven't rewatched the game yet but I saw several instances of Williams coming up to play man underneath with Warren dropped backed into a Safety position. Very bizarre.


October 25th, 2009 at 1:51 PM ^

With Warren playing deep sometimes, this game kind of reminded me of the Purdue game last year when they turned Warren into a safety. That was because the rest of our safeties sucked.

I think this was Greg Robinson's version of what the defensive coaches did last year (notice I didn't say "Shafer" because Shafer was neutered for the Purdue game last year).


October 25th, 2009 at 3:10 PM ^

+1 to you sir.

This did remind me of the 2008 Purdue game as I sat there and asked myself, "What the hell is the defense doing?"

Michigan secondary treated the average PSU WR's like they were Michael Floyd and Golden Tate. That was just part of the problem.


October 25th, 2009 at 2:00 PM ^

When we line up in our base D, with Warren on one side and Woolfolk or Cissoko on the other we generally bend but don't break (Unless you're a tight end on a streak up the middle). I was hoping we would keep this look and try to build on continuity.

Maybe that would be too predictable for a team like PSU, but the D looked confused and unprepared today.

I'm sure the staff will get it figured out soon.

It almost seems that with our personnel we have to play press man coverage at all times instead of giving them 10 yards of cushion.


October 25th, 2009 at 2:09 PM ^

I am not a fan of the Tampa Two scheme with this personnel. If Woolfolk were back there, maybe. But Kovacs is slow and Williams is inexperienced. I think we match up well in Cover Three and in man coverage.

Safeties ought to be lining up to come to Michigan, because Kovacs and Williams are both young and neither seems to be putting much of a stranglehold on their position.


October 25th, 2009 at 2:47 PM ^

Dropping Ezeh into a deep zone is definitely not ideal. His coverage on the TD pass right after the safety was ugly.

I think we have the most potential in press-man on the outside and maybe some zone games elsewhere. We looked good against Iowa when we did this, but blitzed the LBs more freely.

Maize and Blue…

October 25th, 2009 at 2:53 PM ^

Magnus, I'd be willing to say it's more like they are strangling their futures at the position. Williams played last year and I am disappointed with his play. Kovacs is a walk on so what do you expect.
Is JT just picking up the D that slowly or is he not playing because they started him out at CB instead of safety. I would have to think that it would be an upgrade with him on the field at either based solely on athletic ability. I don't see him staying another 4 years if he comes close to living up to the lofty expectations so why redshirt him?


October 25th, 2009 at 4:17 PM ^


I somehow missed this, and that's really horrible, IMO.

Warren is one of our 2 best players on D, we need to be using his strengths...i.e. having him man up on the other team's best WR and neutralizing him.

Putting Warren in a deep zone functionally takes him out of the game and makes him an almost non-factor.

It obviously didn't work and hopefully will be fixed next week.