September 11th, 2012 at 2:43 AM ^

The entire time I was watching this I was thinking about Pat's video, "I love you, Denard!" He had an incredible game. Passing was, in general, crisp and on time. His running was unbelievable. Man is he fun to watch.


September 11th, 2012 at 3:03 AM ^

I watched it again...and...our offensive line play is awful. At least the defense can blame the strange offense and cut blocking for their struggles. I hope this gets fixed soon, otherwise Tom Gholston is gonna have a field day.


September 11th, 2012 at 5:17 AM ^

Things I noticed:

  • When Funchess was in all plays were called pass plays except for two Denard keepers.
  • Denard might be too anxious when Omameh is pulling.  Probably hard to see the hole when he is right behind Omameh with his hand on his back.  He did pull nicely on the 2nd Denard TD. 
  • Our two TD throws came off of 3 TE formations.
  • Norfleet is fun to watch.
  • OL looked confused.  Not sure if it was what AF was doing, but there were several plays where one player on the OL was confused on who he was supposed to block.
  • Can someone tell me if Omameh is coached to not block the obvious guy coming off the edge that eventually tackle Fitz for no gain? (3:46)  


September 11th, 2012 at 7:58 AM ^

Per your last question, I'm guessing not, but I don't have the wealth of high level football knowledge some others do, so perhaps I'm wrong.  Basically, it looks like we got RPSed on that play.  We ran power into an overloaded blitz on that side.  Generally, I believe a pulling gaurd won't be asked to block the most outside player coming upfield; he's looking for the an unblocked lineman or a filling LB caused by the rest of the OL slanting away. 

However, they just had that extra guy coming off the edge.  The FB takes his man, and it seems like a stretch to then as an OG to move quick enough to get across the RBs face to block the outside guy and not throw off the timing of the run.  If you notice, there are only 3 guys in coverage.  AF was doing this all day, and it was ripe for the pass.  Which is probably why Funchess found himself open all day.  At least Borges took advantage of it so some extent.



September 11th, 2012 at 8:22 AM ^

Only watched the first 4 min because I have other stuff to do, but my thoughts:

- AF was bringing a lot of guys to the LOS and doing kinda weird things with them.  It's probably nothing revolutionary, but LB's were crashing hards almost always, and they sent a good amount of edge pressue with their OLBs/DBs.
- AF was also having their DLs first step not be toward the LOS unless it was a passing down.  IE, they stunted a lot, and almost seemed to literally try and 'run around' our OL.  In the first series especially, Omameh fired of the ball almost expecting a DL to come at him, but the D lineman's first step was to the side, and whoop, Omameh wiffes, and the D linemen destroys the play.  Interestingly, I also noticed us doing a tiny bit of this at the end of the game.  When Black and Ross made the critical 4th down stop, Black almost immediately ran down the LOS to get outside of the DE from his tackle spot.  He thus came unblocked off the edge for the pitch man.  It was almost like a scrape-exchange with the D-linemen.  I wonder if this was an adjustment (finally), or just a heads-up move by Black.
- The above even got Lewan.  On one play when a LB or DB faked him one way and then came right across his face to cause that 9 yard loss on the drive we eventually  punted from the 34 on.
- The Funchess TD was very wisconsin-esque; lots of TEs, under center, we get AF thinking run, so they crash as usual, then we go max protect, and then basically run a one man route.  Gardner also ran a route, but he got run out of bounds.  Either way, maybe this O will work well once we figure out how to make the under center runs actually a threat.
- This doesn't give me hope so far for the MSU game, as they also send a lot of blitzes from weird places with their DBs and their undersized OLB.  However, I also doubt thier linemen will have quite as quick a step off the LOS as the AF guys, and I haven't seem them play the same type of games with the DL as AF has shown so far


September 11th, 2012 at 8:46 AM ^

1. I know its in the past, but I wonder how this game would have turned out had we not had that V. Smith interception. 21 - 3 is vastly different from 14-10. It would be interesting to see what kind of boost a lead like that would have given our offense and the urgency it would have forced on Air Force. Not bitching or anything, just interesting.


2. With Air Force stacking the box so much I'm surprised we didn't see more play action. It worked so well when we ran it. Both touchdowns came on Play Action. Especially since Air Force seemed so sold out on stopping Fitz, just seems like a know brainer. I'm not an expert so maybe over-using play action diminishes its effectiveness? 


September 11th, 2012 at 8:58 AM ^

I can't get over how incredible Denard's second TD run is.  He waits for a second at the line of scrimmage and then tugs on Omameh's jersey so that he can cut inside of him after that block is made.  Then he explodes and jukes out another guy downfield for the score.  There are Heisman trophy running backs who aren't able to do that.  Denard might just be the best running back that Michigan has ever had. 

ND Sux

September 11th, 2012 at 9:06 AM ^

just noticed that Fitz seems to have improved in pass protection.  Excellent cut block on the long overthrow to Roundtree (Q4 I think), and on a few other plays as well. 


September 11th, 2012 at 9:57 AM ^

I agree that he may have gotten better, he certainly missed a few as well.  For example around 9:10 he attempts cutblock a free runner, who barely misses a step and forces Denard outside.  I wonder how much of the sloppy cut blocking I saw in him can be attributed to Air Force, you know that defense is used to getting cut block in practice.

I did see some imporvement in his run blocking though, but I also wonder how much of this can be atrributed to Air Force...HA


September 11th, 2012 at 9:14 AM ^

After watching that video, does anyone else get the impression that Borges and Hoke are using the non-conference schedule as a great big opportunity to sandbag and not show anything for our opponents?  I'm basing this on a couple of observations, like...

1.  Showing bubble screen action, and not running them. 

2.  Very few attempts to keep Air Force honest.  Air Force crashed down on every single handoff and fake.  In addition to meh offensive line play, I think that's a reason why Fitz got no yardage  For all of the talk about how Air Force would scheme to stop Denard Robinson, it looks like what they really did is scheme to stop Fitz Toussaint.  We ran maybe three or four plays to take advantage of how aggressive they were, and every single one was pants on the ground for Air Force.


September 11th, 2012 at 9:40 AM ^

Wasn't able to watch the game live, so this is great.  Seems like everyone is down on Smith for the INT, but Denard has the D-Line sealed and a lane up field.  Scramble!


September 11th, 2012 at 10:02 AM ^

go to the first kickoff return at about the 30 second mark. notice how norfleet goes 100 mph into a pile to try to throw a block on the short kick. he leveled a dude. love this kid every time i see him. hoping borges finds a way to get him some snaps on draws or screens this season.


September 11th, 2012 at 10:41 AM ^

A few notes that I noticed:

Fitz has really improved as a blocker. Both as a lead blocker for Denard and for pass protection. There were a couple play action from the I passes were Fitz HAD to cut a linebacker and he did. He looks good in this phase of his game.

Omameh does a nice job pulling for Denard, the QB Power runs looked good, as was mentioned above, Denard does a great job of being patient and setting up his blocks. However when we were backed up into our own end zone Fitz hits the hole before Omameh (7:20). Could this be on Fitz? He doesn't let his blockers set up?

Schofield looked good in pass protection, which is strange. Shouldn't he be better at drive blocking from his time at guard?