earned it [Patrick Barron]

Upon Further Review 2018: Offense vs Wisconsin Comment Count

Brian October 18th, 2018 at 4:24 PM

image-6_thumb_thumb5_thumb_thumb_thu[1]SPONSOR NOTE: Reminder that Matt is hanging out at the Charity Tailgate at 327 East Hoover (if you were at the preseason MGoEvents this year and last it's the same place). There are food trucks, beer, televisions, a giant colorful bus, and it's right next to Revelli so the band will march past. Check it out.

When not tailgating Matt is also a person who will get you a mortgage right quick from the comfort of your own home. If you need one, he's the man, man.

FORMATION NOTES: Michigan's most gun-heavy game of the year with just 18 under-center snaps vs 43 from the gun or pistol. Unlike previous games Michigan was perfectly happy to run from the gun on short yardage. There wasn't a whole lot of weird stuff by formation. Michigan had a couple of quads packages, one from a bunch and the other more spread out.

Wisconsin stuck in their base 3-4 defense for virtually the whole game, with the exception of passing downs.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Mostly the usual. OL the starting five the whole way. At QB McCaffrey and Milton both got a a few snaps. Two of those came during the competitive portion of the contest. Evans returned and got backup snaps behind Higdon. Wilson was all but absent until about halfway through the fourth. Christian Turner used up game #2 with a few late carries.

Collins and DPJ backed by Martin and Bell at WR, as per usual. Very little Grant Perry—ten snaps and change—as Michigan played a ton of 2TE sets. McKeon and Gentry were both on the field for large chunks of the game; Eubanks got a few snaps.

The thing that stood out most was the lack of Ben Mason, who didn't have a role on those 2TE shotgun snaps but also ceded some playing time to Wangler.

[After THE JUMP: fire up the ground game]

Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M22 1 10 Shotgun twins 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7 Pass Quick out Collins 7
Quick pitch and catch with Wisconsin playing way off. (CA, 3, protection 1/1, RPS +1)
M29 2 3 Ace 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7 Run Down G Higdon 2
Jet action with Thomas, down G the other way. Runyan(+0.5) gets some depth on his guy, who gives ground to get around. Ruiz brushes Sagapolu as Onwenu tries to reach him; can’t. Does drive him a little bit down the line, push. Bredeson(-0.5) is the kickout and gets shed as Higdon widens due to Sagapolu.
M31 3 1 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 3-4 8 Run Inside zone Higdon 2
Shuffle end is giving up the corner, M probably spots this and wants to come back later. M gets little movement along the front here on doubles. Neither is there any penetration. Bredeson(-1) ends up ripped down, falling, so Runyan(+0.5) gets a one on one block; he’s able to shove the guy thanks to Higdon(+0.5) threatening one gap and then going behind. McKeon(+0.5) got a little depth on the DE. Ruiz(+0.5) neutralized the NT.
M33 1 10 Shotgun 2-back TE 2 1 2 Base 3-4 7.5 Pass Sack N/A -1
Bredeson(-1) shed by NT and he’s able to get some interior rush. Patterson is able to bug out. UW has a DE in a spy rush and he’s able to slow up Patterson enough for the NT to get him from behind. (PR, 0, protection ½)
M32 2 11 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Base 3-4 5.5 Pass Scramble Patterson 5
Three man rush is nowhere near Patterson, but he’s bugging out after one or two reads as most. He manages to get five yards, which is okay I guess, but I wonder if Evans ran a wrong route. (MA, 0, protection 1/1) Meanwhile the DB on Evans is ten yards off the LOS. Smoke.
M37 3 6 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 4-3 under 6 Pass Out DPJ 8
M motions Perry to create a tight bunch to the field; DPJ is the interior man. He peels out in front of zone that should be able to handle this but the CB is waiting on who his guy is and Patterson can get the ball out on time for the conversion. (CA, 3, protection 1/2). JBB(-1) did get spun through here.
M45 1 10 Shotgun 2-back TE 2 1 2 Base 3-4 7.5 Pass Improv Higdon 15
Protection excellent; Patterson surveys a bit longer here before deciding to bug out. Higdon’s able to provide a target and then digs out a ball that’s just about on the turf… but is not. (MA, 1, protection 2/2)
O40 1 10 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7 Run Down G Higdon 1
Runyan(+1) is able to get over a DE who is heading outside probably to nerf this specifically. He anchors but he’s given up some ground because of the DE’s actions. Bredeson(+0.5) is able to get a kick this time. Gap is real small but there and Higdon hits it. He’s hit by a safety at the LOS. That guy started from ten but fired hard; Higdon’s bobbing action in the backfield took him some time. Gentry(-0.5) got a hit but then got ripped through, that guy also helps. Uh… RPS –2.
O39 2 9 Shotgun 3-wide 1 1 3 Nickel even 6.5 Pass Hitch Martin 11
DB playing in the parking lot and as a bonus he slips. He’s got no shot at preventing this completion either way but might be able to stick on the catch to force third and short. Instead, easy conversion. (CA, 3, protection 1/1, RPS +1)
O28 1 10 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Base 3-4 6.5 Run QB power Milton -1
Milton in, obviously. He looks at a screen that he should probably throw but is just a decoy, and then M runs power. This isn’t going anywhere as Wisconsin notices the frippery and the DE coming down for Bredeson to kick out is reading run all the way. Not a lot of space. Milton(-2) should still either follow the play and get what he can or try to cut to the backside, which looks like it might be open for a few before the slot LB comes down. Instead he tries a bounce outside Bredeson, which is a bad idea and turns this into a loss.
O29 2 11 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 3-3-5 5.5 Pass Hitch Gentry 5
Another quick hitch on a guy playing way off; no slip, immediate tackle. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
O24 3 6 Shotgun trips TE 1 1 3 Exotic 7 Pass Scramble Patterson 1
Max pro, three guys in a route. Collins has single coverage that’s in good contact with him but you still have to let your giant receiver have a shot at an armpunt here. Patterson bails instead, getting run down after a yard. (TA, 0, protection 2/2)
Drive Notes: Missed FG(41), 0-0, 4 min 1st Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M14 1 10 Pistol Twins 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7 Run QB arc keeper Patterson 81
The long con. This is all about disbelief that Patterson will keep. There are four defenders with a shot here. All of them are 100% focused on Evans until it’s too late. This looks like an exchange by UW with Connelly moving to the QB but he is lost. DE dives inside, trying to foul a split zone that the arc mimics. McKeon zooms past. #3 is the playside CB, who comes up way too hard and is a yard inside McKeon when he realizes he’s done. McKeon(+2) duly blocks him. Now we’re off to the races. McKeon gets his second point by running with everyone and knocking Connelly over. Patterson(+2) runs a lot. RPS +4. Yes. BTW, #4 was the free safety, who ran hard at Evans and never even enters the screen.
O5 1 G Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 3-4 9 Run Zone read belly Higdon 3
Extended doubles; M uses the threat of Patterson to hold an OLB outside and Higdon finds a lane that this provides. Runyan(+0.5) and McKeon(+1) ram a DE inside. Ruiz(-0.5) gets a little push initially but then gets shoved back a bit; as Higdon makes his cut he seems to trip over Ruiz as a result. That might rob Higdon of a yard or two.
O2 2 G Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Goal line 9 Run Zone read belly Higdon 2
The rest of the way. Patterson flips Higdon to the other side presnap and they go run it again. This catches UW slanting away on belly ,which is bad for them. M seems to know it, too. JBB(+1) paves his dude. Ditto Onwenu(+1). Gentry(+0.5) isn’t as forceful but gets enough. LBs bury themselves in line, TD there, both guys see it and want the ball so the mesh here starts mutually running to the endzone. Higdon gets the score. RPS +1.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 7-0, 13 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7 Run Jet sweep Thomas 0
Mason in the backfield. Thomas jet, gets ball, playside OLB widens out. Thomas(-2) has a chance if he slashes upfield inside of this; Connelly shot an interior gap and is either going to be a TFL hero or Thomas is going to jet to the second level. Instead he bends around the edge, which takes forever. Mason is leading out and in space against a charging safety. He gets a barely adequate shove on him that does allow Thomas to cut upfield of this guy; OLB is there to tackle. RPS -1. This needs to have a cut-up variant.
M25 2 10 Shotgun empty TE 1 2 2 Base 3-4 4.5 Pass Hitch DPJ Inc
Three man rush, routes look a little broken here as Evans stands at the LOS and Gentry runs a five yard out. That’s a nah; McKeon is covered by the LBs in the middle of the field. Patterson comes all the way over to the field side and finds DPJ but wings the ball wide, forcing a tough diving catch. (IN, 1, protection 2/2)
M25 3 10 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7 Pass Hitch DPJ 6
What is this Iowa-ass playcall? M leaves all three guys in the backfield in for a moment and then releases them. They run aimlessly downfield. Collins is bracketed on a fade; six yard hitch to the field on third and ten literally the only option. (CA, 3, protection 1/1, RPS -2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-7, 10 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M32 1 10 Shotgun twins 1 2 2 Base 3-4 6.5 Run Waggle hitch Collins 9
PA, rollout, M takes advantage of soft coverage. Easy. Collins seems to have internalized the lessons of a couple of weeks ago: here he just goes right upfield for what he can get. (CA, 3, protection 1/1, RPS +1)
M41 2 1 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7 Run Split zone Higdon 2
Arc frippery from Gentry on the backside; McKeon pulls for a standard split zone. Higdon is going vertical fast and does not let anything develop here; he just sees some daylight to the right and hits it as fast as possible, more of a fourth down approach than second down. Onwenu(-1) gets spun off of last minute and Higdon(+0.5) does well to power through two tacklers to get a yard or two of YAC. Ruiz(+0.5) moved Sagapolu a little.
M43 1 10 Ace tight 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7 Pass PA TE deep out Eubanks 28
Wide side flood sees Eubanks pop wide open as the OLB dropping on this comes up when Higdon breaks out. Collins has a bracket on a deep corner route; nobody anywhere near Eubanks. Patterson’s throw holds Eubanks up but that’s probably fine since you don’t want him near the sideline and this is a just don’t screw it up situation. (CA, 3, protection ½, RPS +2). Ruiz(-1) had some trouble with the NT even though he got help from Higdon on the way through.
O29 1 10 Shotgun 2-back TE 2 1 2 Base 3-4 8 Run Down G Higdon 1
Run blitz from UW targeted at this sort of action with a DB coming down and blitzing as a LB fills behind. Both Onwenu(-1) and Mason(-1) hits guy and he still squeezes through. Higdon cuts upfield and gets what he can. RPS -1. McKeon(+0.5) and JBB(+0.5) moved guys to create what space was there. Ruiz(-1) missed a second level block.
O28 2 9 Shotgun empty 1 1 3 Base 3-4 6 Pass Sack N/A -7
Pocket is mostly fine. JBB gives a little ground but ends up pancaking an OLB; Patterson bugs out just as Gentry (route+) is breaking open for a chunk play. A consistent issue this year. Thanks to JBB sitting on the nearest DL Patterson has forever to find someone and does not. Perry(route +) is wide open, by yards, on a corner route to this side of the field. DPJ(route -) has to do a better job of finding open grass here. He sits in one place instead of going vertical, where there is a ton of open space. But Patterson also has to dump the ball OOB. He does not. (TAX, N/A, protection 2/2)
O35 3 16 Shotgun quads 1 1 3 Exotic 4.5 Pass Slant Collins 11
Quad look gets Collins singled on the backside. Slant is easy but probably by design and UW is content to give up the FG try. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: FG(42), 10-7, 4 min 2nd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
O15 1 10 Ace 3TE 1 3 1 Base 3-4 7 Pass Waggle throwaway N/A Inc
No alignment stuff from Wisconsin that indicates they think this will be a run. Both immediate options are blanketed and then quick pressure on the edge. Nowhere to go with the ball, so no TA. (MA, N/A, protection N/A, RPS -2)
O15 2 10 Pistol 2TE 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7 Run Split zone Higdon 0
Same as previous play. McKeon(-2) is pulling across and never reads who’s coming. It’s Edwards and he slashes between McKeon and Runyan; McKeon barely gets a hand on him. Runyan(+1) had driven his guy downfield a fair bit. Ruiz(+1) picked up a LB that was trying to jet through another gap and put him on the ground.
O15 3 10 Shotgun quads 1 1 3 3-3-5 5 Pass Fade Collins Inc
UW drops an OLB into the slant area so the DB doesn’t have to worry about it. He’s playing fade all the way and gets over the top of it. He is literally the only option on this play as the quad guys are blocking downfield to sell a screen. Patterson throws a good pass at Collins to give him a shot; PBU. RPS -2. (CA, 1, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: FG(32), 13-7, 3 min 2nd Q. Nice punt return sets M up at about the 50 with 2:09 left.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
O49 1 10 Ace twins twin TE 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7 Pass PA comeback DPJ 17
Again forever in the pocket; this time Patterson sticks with hit. He finds DPJ, who oddly kind of stopped out of his break. Ball leads DPJ away from the DB but not quite enough as guy gets a hit on the ball just before it gets to DPJ. He’s able to adjust and bring it in. (CA, 1, protection 3/3) DPJ route –.
O32 1 10 Ace twins twin TE 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7 Pass Sack N/A -15
PA, max pro, three guys in the route. One is bracketed by two deep safeties. Collins (route -) tries to run a dig and gets knocked over by the CB, which is legal. Patterson should just take the stupid TE drag for four yards but instead starts moving around, with not much upside against a zone. Nothing directly upfield so he tries to go back around and exposes himself to the rusher who zoomed by at 11 yards and ends up getting sack-stripped. (TAX, N/A, protection 2/2, RPS -1)
O47 2 25 Shotgun quads 1 1 3 3-3-5 5 Run QB draw Patterson 7
Playing for the field goal; UW blitzer overruns this but the DL slants and fouls up the hole up the gut. Patterson has to pop around the end and Ruiz has no angle on the MLB.
O40 3 18 Shotgun quad spread 1 1 3 Dime 5 Pass Drag Collins 4
If you’re going to do this you should probably just throw the dumb screen out to Evans and the guy 12 yards off the LOS. (CA, 3, protection 1/1)
Drive Notes: Missed FG(54), 13-7, EOH
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M25 1 10 Shotgun twins 1 2 2 Base 3-4 6.5 Pass Waggle throwaway N/A Inc
Connelly blitzes and rips through a gap in the line as M is not accounting for him. He gets quick pressure and forces a dump OOB. (PR, N/A, protection N/A, RPS -1)
M25 2 10 Shotgun twins 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7 Run Down G Higdon 5
JBB(+1) turns in the end. Onwenu(+0.5) gets a decent kick. Ends up being a bear hug as the guy comes in at a 90 degree angle but he gives up. Gentry(-1) misses on Connelly, who ends up falling to make that miss happen. He’s unable to tackle but does force it back when Higdon is about to jet for a big gain. Help not forthcoming as Ruiz(+2) hammers the NT downfield, cutting off scrape angles for Edwards.
M30 3 5 Shotgun empty TE 1 1 3 3-3-5 6 Pass Corner Collins Inc (Pen +10)
Again going at Collins as a solo backside WR against the FR corner; this time he panics as Collins gets over the top of him and starts grabbing. Barely over Collins’s hand and likely complete if not for the interference. Called a hold. (CA, 0, protection 2/2)
M40 1 10 Ace tight 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7 Run End around DPJ 5
McKeon(+1) does a good job to step around an OLB who is wise to the misdirection and makes contact about four yards in the backfield. That guy does force a big bend and allows the rest of his D to rally.
M45 2 5 Ace twins twin TE 1 2 2 Base 3-4 6.5 Run Scoop zone Higdon 4
This play consists of three attempted scoop blocks and Higdon going off tackle before cutting back; it is neither IZ or a stretch, and it’s also not duo. It ends up being a vertical mass of bodies. Higdon(+0.5) cuts back after the outside gets cut off; McKeon(-0.5) ends up getting driven back and cutting off the outside. Once the cut is made there’s a free DE who makes the tackle. Higdon can still make something out of it because Bredeson(+1) and Onwenu(+1) drove guys downfield.
M49 3 1 Ace twins twin TE 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7 Run Down G Higdon -5
M motions a TE and attacks a big gap between a DE and their OLB. Runyan(+0.5) turns in his guy but does lose him late. OLB runs at and hits McKeon(-0.5) who stands him up in the backfield and takes the brunt of the contact. Higdon goes around this. Bredeson re-gaps. Gentry(+0.5) hits Edwards and has him; Bredeson(+0.5) comes and knocks him over. Higdon(-3) now has the first down if he puts his foot in the ground and goes vertical. Instead he hesitates, gets hit by a safety, and fumbles.
Drive Notes: Punt, 13-7, 12 min 3rd Q. Wisconsin roughs the snapper.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
O41 1 10 Shotgun 2-back TE 2 1 2 Base 3-4 7.5 Pass PA Y cross Collins Inc
All the time. Collins keeps dragging across the field; DB is in contact. Patterson eventually decides to throw it to him; bad idea as a zone LB almost intercepts it. (BRX, 0, protection 3/3)
O41 2 10 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 4-3 even SAM 7 Run Hybrid pin and pull Higdon 25
Ah, hell. This play features a TE blocking down on a standup DE while both frontside T and G pull around. M appears to have Ruiz bump the NT and get to a LB except the guy picking that guy up should be Onwenu, who just goes to the third level. Lingo fails. Anyway: Gentry(+1) gets enough of the LB slanting away from him. Runyan(+0.5) gets a kick on a DB. Bredeson(+2) does a great job to see nothing in front of him and stop to find Connelly tearing ass at him; he gets kicked out too. Ruiz(+2) puts the NT on the ground and then gets Edwards. Onwenu(+0.5) releases and gets a safety, sort of. He’s large and in the area. It’s enough. Higdon(+1) makes the cut and blazes to the last lines of defense.
O16 1 10 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7 Run Unicorn salad Higdon 4
FFS. Again TE downblock, both frontside guys pull around. On the backside Bredeson pulls THE OTHER WAY to kick the backside OLB. This looks like a super clever QB run that’s about to work except that McKeon runs by the LB level and Patterson doesn’t keep it. It does confuse those LBs, but Gentry(-0.5) can’t hold his ground against the DE who’s mostly NT and Higdon doesn’t want to try the small gap that is there. He cuts behind. The action confused one NT, Ruiz(+0.5) shoved another out, but the confused LBs are standing still in the area Higdon is running.
O12 2 6 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7 Run Zone read belly Evans 5
IZ look, JBB(+2) is blocking down on the playside DE to move him down the line, which he does emphatically. Patterson holds the OLB and Evans can cut behind for an easy chunk of yards. RPS +1.
O7 3 1 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 3-4 9 Run Zone read keeper Patterson 7
UW either has nobody assigned to Patterson or someone busts. The OLB crams down on Gentry(+0.5) and that’s probably the pull for Patterson(+1). Safety at four yards never bothers to look up Patterson, focused on interior run all the way. TD. RPS +2.
O3 2PT 2PT Ace 1 2 2 Base 3-4 9 Pass Waggle cross Collins 3
Jet one way, waggle the other. No edge pressure as UW bails out to cover the short stuff. Collins gets open as a safety is drawn away by the jet threat. (CA, 3, RPS +1)
Drive Notes: Touchdown(2PT), 21-7, 10 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Shotgun 2-back TE 2 1 2 Base 3-4 7 Run Down G Higdon 9
This isn’t actually a stretch, but it turns into one, more or less. UW goes hard at the playside. M changes it up with McKeon(+0.5) kicking out and Bredeson(-0.5) pulling through the hole. Bredeson’s in tough with Connelly hammering at him but loses the contact. Frontside not so much. Runyan(+1) fired his guy downfield and drove him as he tried to give ground to get around, not relevant. Cutback is there as JBB(+1) is able to just about reach his opposite number. Higdon(+1) sees it and hits it.
M29 2 1 Ace tight 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7 Run Split zone Higdon 17
Connelly blitzball catches up with UW. Onwenu(+1) is able to get a hand on him and that shove sends Connelly over. JBB(+2) mauls backside end with help from McKeon(+1) who gets out on the other ILB. Wangler(+1) gets a good kick. Higdon(+0.5) finds the very large gap and hits it. RPS +1, Edwards real late.
M46 1 10 Ace twins twin TE 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7 Run Scoop zone Wilson 2
Plays out very similarly to the previous edition of this play. Connelly rips up and cuts Onwenu at the LOS; Wilson(-1) should be able to cut behind this for a decent gain but isn’t as quick as Higdon was. JBB(+0.5) and Ruiz(+0.5) had moved some guys and this could have been 4-5.
M48 2 8 Shotgun 4-wide 1 1 2 Base 3-4 7 Pass Tunnel screen Evans -2
McCaffrey in, much frippery. Problem is this is zone from UW as it usually is and the playside OLB drops out as UW rushes three. He’s in a perfect spot to kill this. RPS -2. (CA, 3, screen)
M46 3 10 Shotgun quad spread 1 1 3 3-3-5 6 Pass Throwaway Patterson Inc
Double A blitz from UW is picked up but Patterson keeps drifting. He drifts left and blows up blocking angles; he exposes himself to pressure and then has to roll out and throw it away. If he’s still on the hash this is a pickup. (TA, N/A, protection 0/2, Patterson -2)
Drive Notes: Punt, 21-7, 5 min 3rd Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M20 1 10 Ace tight 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7 Run Split zone Higdon 16
I really don’t get this cut from Higdon as the backside hit that he just ripped off 20 yards on is there, but whatevs. JBB(+1) and Gentry(+1) combo a DE with Gentry getting to a LB. Mason(+0.5) gets a good kick. Worst case on the cutback that’s kinda your primary on SZ is like 5-6 yards. Probably more. Higdon(+1) decides to cut all the way to the other side. This works as Runyan(+1) drives his guy off the LOS by a couple yards. Directly up the gut would have been fine too. Bredeson(+0.5) and Ruiz(+0.5) got the NT off the LOS. But anyway, Higdon bounces outside and has daylight.
M36 1 10 Pistol twins 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7 Run QB arc give Higdon 3
Patterson(-2) needs to pull this; McKeon dodges the OLB so this has to be another arc, and this guy is plunging inside. Runyan(+1) turns his guy in and he falls due to other legs so Higdon can get a little.
M39 2 7 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7 Run Zone read belly Evans 6
JBB(+2) pancakes his DE immediately. Dang. Gentry(+0.5) extends to LB, easy since DE is donezo. OLB checking Patterson isn’t really checking him very well but still can’t do much to shut this down. RPS +1.
M45 3 1 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 3-4 8 Run Dive Evans 3
Doubles from Bredeson(+0.5) and Runyan(+0.5) on one DT and Onwenu(+0.5) and Ruiz(+0.5) on the other eject them from the premises.
M48 1 10 Shotgun 2-back TE 2 1 2 Base 3-4 8 Run Zone stretch Higdon 5
This is a legit stretch. Playside gets jammed as TE motion sees a shift from UW that makes reach blocks real hard. Runyan(+1) does get the backside end to open up some space. Bredeson(+0.5) gets to a LB and annoys him; Higdon(+0.5) makes the cut.
O47 2 5 Ace tight 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7 Run Split zone Higdon 12
Blocking not great here as McKeon(-1) ends up falling and allows the playside OLB to pop up and threaten gaps. Wangler comes around hard looking for a kickout and none presents itself; he is just able to redirect and annoy Edwards enough. Refs(+1) maybe could call a hold. Higdon(+2) burst outside since there’s no edge. He’s able to out distance one guy and zip past another. DPJ(+0.5) saw Higdon go outside and got a slight push on the tackler Higdon humiliated.
O35 1 10 Shotgun 2-back TE 2 1 2 Base 3-4 7.5 Run Zone read keeper Patterson 12
Patterson(+2) does make the pull here in a non obvious situation; backside DE is shuffling, not crashing. Good mesh and Patterson’s speed makes him wrong. Collins(+1) gets a CB neutralizing block to help. RPS +1.
O23 1 10 Ace tight 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7 Run Split zone Evans 2
One of Wangler or McKeon is wrong here; McKeon kicks out the OLB and Wangler(-2) runs at the same guy on his split block. He then veers into the gap M is attacking but too late. Connelly runs through and tackles Evans as he tries to cut to the backside. JBB(+1) paved his guy; McKeon(+0.5) got a good kick. Ruiz(-0.5) and Onwenu(-0.5) slightly split on their double.
O21 2 8 Shotgun 2-back TE 2 1 2 Base 3-4 7 Run Down G Higdon -1
Higdon(-2) stretches this to the sideline despite a guy who’s getting kicked out right there. He’s able to send this almost to the sideline and there aren’t angles for blocks this far out. A cutback is at least a decent gain as Onwenu(+0.5) and Runyan(+0.5) washed guys down the line; there’s no resistance for a couple yards. JBB(+0.5) induced his guy to fall so there is a cutback all the way as well.
O20 3 9 Shotgun quads 1 1 3 Nickel even 5.5 Pass Flash screen Evans 6
Screen at the quads, which looks pretty good by alignment. McKeon(-0.5) beat by the first blocker but does enough to push him past Evans; still a delay. Gentry(-0.5) beat in similar fashion; he’s able to continue to harass Edwards but Evans(+0.5) again has to dance through some guys, which he does. Can’t get to the marker. (CA, 3, screen) I don’t mind the extremely conservative call here since a FG is about as useful as a TD up 14 with 12 minutes left.
Drive Notes: FG(35), 24-7, 11 min 4th Q.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
M32 1 10 Ace twins 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7 Run Stretch G Wilson 4
M gets the gap here as JBB(+2) turns in his guy and eventually pancakes him; Onwenu(+0.5) gets a kick. Gentry(-2) releases to Edwards; Edwards gives him an ole and runs up to tackle near the LOS. Ruiz(+1) bashed his guy back too.
M36 2 6 Ace 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7 Run Stretch G Wilson 5
Wilson(+1) makes a sharp cut here as he feels the backside gap. JBB(+1) has helped create it by semi-reaching the backside DE; Onwenu(+0.5) helps wash the NT down the line. Connelly super aggressive and gone; Edwards also. DBs are creeping this late though and can shut down the play before it gets to the LOS.
M41 3 1 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7 Run Zone read belly Wilson 9
This same end gets mauled by JBB(+1) and McKeon(+2) as M runs a belly at him right after he got sort of reached. Patterson holds the OLB enough and Wilson gets the first down. They’ve moved this DE enough that the OLB can’t actually tackle; McKeon pops off on a LB and gives Wilson an avenue to the second level.
50 1 10 Ace twins 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7 Run Stretch G Wilson 2
UW exchanges and mucks the gap up, with the OLB diving inside Onwenu as Connelly rips around to replace him. Nobody with Patterson and Gentry is blocking the backside EMLOS so when Wilson cuts back there’s a couple of dudes. Runyan is just shouldering his guy down the line, which appears to be standard technique for this, and he’s able to peel back. RPS -1. JBB(-0.5) did give some ground; Onwenu(+0.5) did well to fire the OLB back a bit but it wasn’t enough.
O48 2 8 Ace tight 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7 Run Split zone Wilson 4
Geez, same issue as the previous split zone but reversed. Gentry moves to the second level; Wangler veers do to do the same and then suddenly redirects to the kickout, which is too late. Uh… this looks like Wangler(-2), because he’s running around changing his mind. Also he runs right by the OLB; Gentry is not blocking that guy and that should be obvious. He in fact goes and knocks Gentry to the ground. M  still gets yards because JBB(+2) drives this poor damn DE five yards downfield. Ruiz(+1) and Onwenu(+1) get Sagapolu three yards off and Onwenu gets Edwards. Wilson(+0.5) has the space to get some YAC and his leg drive is impressive.
O44 3 4 Pistol 2TE 1 2 2 Base 3-4 9 Run QB arc keeper McCaffrey 44
Split, M catches an exchange. OLB dives inside; McKeon passes him up. Gentry(+1) finds Connelly and seals him inside. McKeon(+1) kicks the CB. McCaffrey(+2) cuts inside of this and is then… gone? Yes. RPS +2.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 38-7, 5 min 4th Q. Final drive is running out the clock, only interesting items.
Ln Dn Ds O Form RB TE WR D Form Box Type Play Player Yards
50 2 12 Shotgun 2-back TE 2 1 2 Base 3-4 7 Run Inverted veer give Turner 10
Milton. M’s first inverted veer since… Denard? Probably Devin. Anyway. They actually option a guy and everything, with the QB action getting a free DE. JBB(+1) flares out and gets outside of Edwards. Turner(+1) threatens inside and then slides back out. OLB McKeon(+2) is on takes the bait. McKeon stays on him when he tries to shed inside and pancakes him. Brown(-1), a third string fullback, runs at the safety and sort of misses. Safety gets around him and is able to get an ankle tackle in.
O37 1 10 Shotgun 2TE 1 2 2 Base 3-4 7 Run QB down G Milton 23
Milton’s sojourn. +3, clipped for season preview purposes.
Drive Notes: EOG, 38-13.


I liked the clobbering.

Boy there was a lot of clobbering.

You're going to do that caveats thing now.

I am. Wisconsin's DEs are flat out bad. The reason Loudermilk was playing at all was because their options past him were grim. I don't think much of their OLBs either. But even so the first half was a bit of a slog, at least until the Spirit of Denard hit. Afterwards things got loosened up.

Let's talk about that Spirit of Denard stuff, that sounds fun.

Seth broke the zone read game down in detail already. The striking thing to me on the arc keeper was that Michigan barely needed the arc block; that's how focused Wisconsin was on Michigan's ground game and ignorant of the possibility Patterson would keep the ball.

This is an exchange, with Connelly flying out, and then he sucks back inside.

After that Michigan punches the ball in from the five in a 2TE gun look on which they run belly to both sides of the ball:

One play each for edge players suddenly and shockingly aware of the possibility of a keep. That's good coordinatin'. The second is particularly notable because of the weirdly extended mesh point. Both players want to keep the ball; Higdon wins. One: that's how open it was. Two: that's a genuine read being made, which has sometimes been in doubt this season

Michigan returned to these belly plays on short yardage repeatedly and they were easy money. They were effective in the context of a suddenly Rich-Rodded ground game. Michigan's down G action in this game turned into zone stretch with some frontside frippery; cutbacks seemed to be the point as Michigan got the UW ILBs to run hard that the guard action and Juwann Bushell-Beatty, of all people, was able to get enough of a reach block in on the backside DE to provide cutback lanes:

#76 RT

When this has happened to you and Michigan steps left you know you've got to get on your horse and go, and then suddenly Bushell-Beatty is flinging you across the formation as a slow-motion "oh nooooooo" escapes your mouth:

#76 RT, also lol

Zone stretch—more or less—causes the end to chase hard one way. The newly activated threat of Patterson holds the OLB the other way. (Or it doesn't and Patterson scores on the play after the above embed.) The gate is open.

What if the opposition wants to gap exchange? Well, that's what got them spit-roasted on an 81 yard QB run early in the game. Also on the McCaffrey touchdown:

Also Patterson had another arc pull on which Michigan had it for a huge gain that he didn't pull on.

There are tactical things you can do, but there's approximately a zero percent chance Wisconsin's prep for this game did anything more than gently brush against the idea Patterson might keep once. This is how you run for 234 yards while passing for 4 in a half. I wonder if Warinner—who has more recent college spread experience than the rest of the coaching staff—got his hands deeper in the run game after some questionable tactics against ND.

Surely there needs to be more than just tactics, sir.

Well, yes. Here is a

i am afraid of the large man

aren't you murderwolf

even murderwolf has fear


Offensive Line

Player + - Total Notes
Runyan 9.5   9.5 So it continues like this.
Bredeson 5.5 2 3.5 Continues getting graded less than others.
Ruiz 10 2 8 Toughest matchup across OL, too.
Onwenu 7.5 2.5 5 Slightly more quiet than…
JBB 19.5 0.5 19 FFS JBB
Wangler 1 4 -3 Two split zone dorfs; McKeon or Gentry may have been responsible for one or both.
McKeon 12 4.5 7.5 Only block on 81 yard run.
Gentry 5 4.5 0.5 Still 6'8" and game but only that.
Eubanks       DNC
Mason 0.5 1 -0.5 Charging up his anger battery I guess.
TOTAL 70.5 20 78% Brown –1 not in total. Also, yeehaw.
Player + - T Notes
Patterson 5 2 3 Missed a pull, made three others.
McCaffrey 2   2 Confirmed: is a McCaffrey.
Higdon 7.5 5 2.5 Play on which he fumbled was almost –6.
Evans 0.5   0.5  
Samuels       DNC
Wilson 1.5 1 0.5  
Turner       DNP
TOTAL 16.5 8 8.5 RBs mostly got what was blocked for them plus a little.
Player + - T Notes
DPJ 0.5   0.5  
Collins 1   1  
Thomas   2 -2 Cut the jet up plz.
TOTAL 1.5 2 -0.5 Eh
Player + - T Notes
Protection 29 5 91% Patterson –2 (not in % total), Bredeson –1, JBB –1, Ruiz –1.
RPS 19 15 +4 Big split between run (positive) and pass (negative).

The single best blocking performance in years. Since at least 2011, which was the last Michigan OL that could be considered legitimately good. With the exception of Zach Gentry and the fullbacks everyone whooped up on the opposition. Higdon got some points here and there for good cuts or a nice bounce but there was a notable lack of RB-generated big plays; unlike the Minnesota game last year this was a down-in, down-out paving.

I no longer fear Murderwolf, I fear Juwann Bushell-Beatty.

Bushell-Beatty had the most dominant Michigan OL performance since, uh, Taylor Lewan? Probably? There were so many plays on which the guy trying to deal with JBB went for a donkey ride. The opening TD was a stellar example:

#76 RT

Most of the embeds in the run game section above feature him mauling a dude off the ball. This skycam shot was perhaps the most visceral expression of his power even if the DE didn't go for quite as much of a ride as he did on some other plays:

#76 RT

Wait no this one.

#76 RT

Poor Damn Wisconsin Defensive End had me feeling sorry for him by the beginning of the fourth quarter. He had zero chance against Bushell-Beatty. I question how he didn't land on at least the weekly PFF all-Big Ten team.

The rest of the line wasn't far back. Ruiz had the toughest matchup since Olive Sagapolu is a veteran vaguely on NFL radars instead of a terrified greenhorn; he got a decisive W:

By late in the third quarter Higdon was able to do whatever he wanted, more or less. This playside bounce on a split zone is a bit of a mystery to me since the backside gap that is often the destination on split zone is absolutely there:

#76 RT and #83 TE, also #75 LT

Runyan gets depth on his guy, though, so whatever. Cramming it directly up the middle was probably 5 or 6 too. The context is important here, too: four second half passing yards. That was the environment in which Michigan did this.

Long may it last!


Long may 70-80% of this performance last!

Better. Prepare for this to be the positive outlier on the season. Wisconsin is beat up on defense. Michigan sprung their arc keeper trap. And the OL played out of their minds. It won't be that good down the road. If it's 80% as good and Michigan gets the dealing version of Patterson, though…

That implies this was not the dealing version of Patterson.

Patterson's day was pretty frustrating for the partisan observer. Many times he exited the pocket with seemingly no reason to; downfield replays cleared many of these things up one way or the other. Many were benign or justified. This early second and eleven scramble comes when it looks like Wisconsin covers every one of the five WRs:

I don't get a lot of context to compare this to but I don't know if I like what Michigan's trying to do here, and in many cases. This is three out routes for dink yardage, a slant behind two of those out routes, and Chris Evans on a fly route. Against this guy:


That guy is literally ten yards off the LOS. I get all clappy hands emoji about this. Take the free yards! That is your best space player against a true freshman who is still in Wisconsin. Michigan was able to hit the super-soft corners occasionally but it's been a frequent frustration this year that they're not punishing this kind of thing on the regular. There are a zillion reasons Don Brown plays his corners in the grill of opposition WRs; I'd like to see some of those on the other side of the ball. 

The Iowa-ass six-yard hitch on third and ten was not Patterson's fault, as either someone busted a route or the playcall is exceptionally bad. Michigan lines up with two WRs; the other three eligible WRs all get left in to block momentarily and then release downfield. Collins gets a bracket to the other side of the field so this is literally the only option:

I don't get what Michigan could possibly be trying to accomplish there.

In general I was not a fan of Michigan's approach in the passing game. They got a ton of zone, which is what they got a ton of last week and will get this week. There were few route patterns that were able to overload or stretch zone defenders. The chunk play to Eubanks stands out as the exception. Michigan floods the left side and gets a Collins bracket, so the last guy on the left side is going to choose wrong. He chooses big wrong instead of little wrong:

Gaps like that were rare, and the skycam views almost never revealed the Wisconsin zone getting productively pulled out of shape.

Various waggles entirely failed to happen as UW swarmed them. There were a ton of plays on which Patterson had two guys in a route, or even just one. The failed fade to Collins is an RPS loss. UW drops a linebacker into the slant and the CB can play fade the whole way. Collins has zero chance of winning this route:

But hey you got two for one there and they're only rushing three, right? Go find someone else. There is no one else. Look at the quad WRs. They are not in routes. Michigan put all their chips in on the fade that was the obvious riposte after an early slant.

So a big chunk of the passing approach just didn't work and was not something anyone could rescue.


I don't want to overstate the case; this was not anything like, oh, 10 QB performances from last year. But this dipped back down to somewhat shaky Northwestern levels and came with three Asterisks of Dooooooom:


  Good   Neutral   Bad   Ovr
Notre Dame 2+ 18(4)+ 1   5 1   1(1) 2 2 1*   77% -
WMU 3++ 9(2)++     2 1     1 2     77% -
SMU 3+ 9(1)+ 3     1     2 1 2*   74% -
Nebraska 2 11(2)+     1         2 1   79% -
Northwestern 2 12(2)+ 3   1 3     3* 4     68% -
Maryland 3 17(1) 1   1 4   1   1 1   87% -
Wisconsin   15(2)     2 3     4** 1 1*   68% -

There were other no-throw events I was less enthused about. I thought both of the big drive ending-sacks Michigan suffered were Patterson's fault. Herbstreit kept talking about good coverage and long routes in this game and he was about half right.

Nico Collins doesn't get a ton of separation here but does put the DB in scramble mode. Patterson is already gone by the time this happens. It goes from this:

Patterson looking at DB with outside leverage


To this:

Patterson already scrambling out as DB loses outside leverage


Collins has a half foot on most DBs; I want Patterson to take that shot. Once he breaks outside you can throw him open. Worst case scenario is a interception that functions as a bad punt. YOLO. (Are we still saying YOLO? No? Damn you kids!)

Other events were even clearer. Gentry turns his defensive back around on the play that turned into the very bad sack Patterson took:

#83 slot to left

That guy is wide open, with yards of lateral separation from a defensive back who has to do a 360. But Patterson has already lost patience.

i'm not looking


That guy is dead meat on any throw outside the numbers. Patterson came off it before Gentry even got in his break and did this to the dude. Very frustrating. Then on the rollout Grant Perry is open by five yards.


Meanwhile Herbstreit is blathering on about how nobody's open. Two different guys are open for TDs (or close) on this play.

The sack/strip was Patterson in a pocket with no obvious holes and very little upside. M runs Mills again here; post is bracketed by the safeties and the dig falls down. Patterson does have Gentry on a stupid five yard checkdown, but doesn't take it.

Protection is plenty good enough to go through your three options and get the ball out. Instead another huge loss and a near turnover.

Finally in Someone On Twitter Said My Take About Patterson Was Bad And I Will Bury Them In Clips, here Michigan picks up a blitz but Patterson unnecessarily drifts left in the pocket, killing blocking angles and creating his own pressure. Solid chance the double digs on the outside pop the outside man open in time if Patterson doesn't pick up the rare QB minus in pass protection.

If Patterson was on this game gets out of hand much more quickly.

But he ran for a lot of yards?

That is something. Patterson got most of his pull reads right in this game, with just one opportunity spurned, and once he broke to the open field he was able to make the most of it. He is a speedy guy. The ability to rip off a first down against an OLB doing a decent shuffle is not something everyone has:

If he's able to make the consistently right reads and punish the opposition with a chunk or three per game that changes Michigan's equation on the ground radically.

Higdon's grade is pretty meh.

Yes. Should be noted that's just a run grade and doesn't include a circus catch:

That's Michigan's first of the year by my reckoning.

To the negative, the failed third and one was 100% on him. He had two different opportunities to turn it up. One, to the interior, featured Ryan Connelly charging hard and would have been down to the YAC. The second is…

wyd Karan


… well, it would have been really really frustrating if Wisconsin didn't clobber the Cheese Man immediately afterwards. On top of that he fumbles after inexplicably extending this to the sideline. I decided I couldn't give out a –6 for one play but by God I thought about it. Instead just –3. But FFS. That's worse than the Collins flash screen from the Maryland game.

Did the receivers play a role in the pass game struggles?

Some. I had them for three route minuses, which are big deals since they usually mean a play is done for. DPJ had two of them, one for not extending vertically on the rollout Patterson sack, a second for inexplicably slowing up on a comeback route:

Collins got the other one as he fell over on a dig right before the strip-sack. But the two route plus items I handed out were both on the rollout sack, as well, and DPJ caught that comeback anyway. So, no the WRs didn't have the kind of day that would dent passing efficiency. There were no drops.

[0 = uncatchable, 1 = circus catch, 2 = moderate difficulty, 3 = routine]

Player 0 1 2 3   0 1 2 3
DPJ   1/2   2/2   2 1/3 1/2 19/19
Collins 1 0/1   5/5   1 0/2 4/5 13/14
Martin           2 1/3   4/4
Perry           2 0/2 2/2 6/6
Bell               1/1 2/2
McCurry               1/1 1/1
McKeon           1   3/3 6/7
Gentry       1/1   4 0/1 5/5 16/18
Eubanks           1   1/1 2/2
Mason                  1/1
Evans       1/1         5/5
Higdon   1/1          1/1    3/3
Wilson                 2/2
Thomas                    0/1

Routes: DPJ - -, Collins –, Gentry +, Perry +

Michigan's WRs have one routine drop on the year.

There was this… thing… on a run… sort of thing? Weird thing?

God yes. A few, in fact. This one is subtle but it looks neither like conventional inside zone or outside zone. Instead Michigan is trying to scoop three different guys on the DL but ends up pushing vertically.

All three of these doubles are initial hits from one player as a second tries to step around and seal the guy off. You usually see them on the interior of outside zone plays. Both of these ended up being cutbacks as Michigan blew the first level off the ball but couldn't create any gaps. It could be an interaction between the D alignment and Michigan's playcall that makes a zone stretch look like this. I called this "scoop zone."

Two other plays were more clearly bonkers new stuff. The first was the Higdon chunk run after the roughing the snapper penalty. This play features:

  • a TE downblock
  • the frontside T and G pulling around it.
  • Ruiz reaching the NT and going to the second level
  • Onwenu pulling around Ruiz and going to what ends up being the third level

This is one of the strangest things I've seen, and yet, it all works:

uh everyone doing everything all weird

Maybe Onwenu is supposed to scoop the NT with Ruiz and freelances once the NT hits the ground? Need more data.

Then the very next play sees Michigan do the same downblock/double playside pull while Bredeson pulls the other way(!).

#74 LG

This naturally confuses the linebacker level but Michigan can't quite give Higdon the frontside gap that would take advantage of that. Meanwhile I'm watching the backside of that play and converting McKeon's attempted safety block to a crack on Connelly and zipping Patterson through that gap. I called this Unicorn Salad, because I'm out of real names for plays and "frontside pin and pull, I guess, with a counter-flow backside pull and possible keep option?" doesn't fit in the chart.

Joe Milton though.

Milton's play during the competitive version of the game was a freshman mistake where he tried to bounce outside a well-set edge on a power play leading him inside of that. The power play wasn't going anywhere but that gave up a few yards, probably. His second event of note was more positive, and may in fact reset expectations for a guy who rushed for about 250 yards over the course of his high school career:

The weaving around is nice; ,the portion after he sticks on the sidelines and then accelerates in that gliding fashion is also nice.

I feel like you have a complaint left in you.

Thank you for your faith.

Michigan's one attempted jet to Thomas may have been tipped by Mason's presence as a solo back in the backfield, which has not occurred yet this year. It still had a shot if Thomas can read Gentry's block and cut up. Mason does get just enough of the charging safety to allow Thomas to cut behind that, but the OLB is there to tackle:

If you're bending around the edge and the guy is that wide, the cutback is probably your best option. Bell had it a couple weeks ago. Thomas may or may not have it depending on whether Connelly can make up the distance after his hyper-aggressive gap shoot. Michigan needs to add this in to their jet package, especially if they can get some action the other way that might slow up the LBs. First time they do it it'll hit.


The entire OL, especially Juwann Bushell-Beatty. Ed Warriner. Sean McKeon. Ed Warriner. Shea Patterson's legs. Ed Warinner.

Maybe not so heroic?

Patterson's happy feet were a source of busted drives.

What does it mean for MSU and beyond?

Oh hell I don't know. No ramp-up from this battered defense to MSU's, which is #1 against the rush in S&P+. I do think there are hints that Michigan has some scripted stuff they've been able to mostly hold back: plays that have other bits attached that haven't been run, that sort of thing.

Patterson needs to trust his protection more and wait for his WRs to make their move. Deep hits to Collins and Gentry were on the table but not taken.

The passing approach in general needs some quicker zone-beating stuff. Michigan ran a ton of deep stuff against Wisconsin and very little of the standard zone beating stuff like curl/flat or double slants. Michigan's routes are not moving zone defenders so that other guys can get open.

I want to believe. This has got to be the apex of JBB's career; we've seen the line against various other, better DL and it doesn't go like this. But! Since JBB got the starting job midyear in 2017 he has consistently moved people when asked to. This is not a sudden fluke out of nowhere, it is a steadily improving OL coming up against a wack player. Protection remains an issue but I think you can say that JBB is a legitimately good college RT.

Also note that the right side from Ruiz to JBB has been significantly above our desired 2:1 ratio for most of the season. It's happening dot gif.

A fully activated 11 v 11 run game is good. Michigan can get most of the advantages of the RichRod run game just by running Patterson a few times a game and taking advantage of the guy he can now option off.

McCaffrey: McCaffrey. Confirmed. 

Take the free yards. Dumb WR screens are there for good yardage on first and second down.


carlos spicywiener

October 18th, 2018 at 5:06 PM ^

For the reasons Brian outlined above. Routes.  Pep is pass game coordinator so buck stops with him .Slants, hitches, curl routes; all important options to hammer a zone defense underneath. 

Long, slow developing routes aint it. Take what they give you. Shea has a ways to go reading a defense; they should make life a bit easier on him in the pass game.


October 18th, 2018 at 5:45 PM ^

Amen.  I'm still holding out hope we replace him with Jedd after the season.  With Jedd we had a functional screen game.  We had those sweet offset draws that somehow converted third and longs.  We took advantage of off coverage with bubble screens.  The passing game just seemed more logical and coherent.


October 19th, 2018 at 2:01 AM ^

I think those are basically Harbaugh's routes. He's the "passing game coordinator," but that's just a title to cover the nebulous work he does directly with the guys involved in the passing game and, one would presume, the focus he has in film study. Harbaugh is the OC. It's not like Michigan was running super-short routes with Jedd around, because Jedd was running Harbaugh's offense. 



October 18th, 2018 at 4:51 PM ^

"Prepare for this to be the positive outlier for the season"

Uh... that's your BPONE talking. The improvement this year has been steady, and I expect that it continues.

Communist Football

October 18th, 2018 at 5:01 PM ^

Can someone remind me what the asterisks and pluses are in the Hennechart?

BTW I entirely shared Brian's observation during the game that plenty of people were wide open on the precise replays where Herbstreit is saying no one is open. This, to me, is the problem with Shea's game right now -- he's not seeing the open receivers with enough frequency.

Yinka Double Dare

October 18th, 2018 at 5:04 PM ^

The first half passing game was kind of annoying but it seems like the halftime adjustments were "their defensive line is bad, we will spend the rest of the game donkeying them" and they didn't bother with any passing game adjustments because they barely threw in the 2nd half. Hoping they just shelved all those adjustments for the MSU game since they'll see zone again there while MSU's run defense is actually a thing. 

Of course, wind and rain may nerf that plan. Grumble grumble Sparty weather machine.

Diagonal Blue

October 18th, 2018 at 5:06 PM ^

Said the same thing about the pass game this past Sunday. Way too many long developing routes and not enough shorter stuff designed to beat zones. Pep did the same thing in Indy. I don't get it. Take the free yards not everything has to be 25 yards downfield.


October 18th, 2018 at 5:08 PM ^

Does anyone else think the Ben Mason absence was designed to mess with a team that practices against I-Form Jumbo sets all week and likely knows how to defend the FB? I think the Shotgun was RPS to mess with what Wisconsin likely was keying on.


October 18th, 2018 at 8:10 PM ^

We'll have to see in pass pro against actual pass rusher because the only time he faced one was ND and it was bad.

JBB might need to move to OG if he were to have a chance but that's a different position that he's used to playing.

OSU game will be telling because they have elite athletes lining up across him and we'll see how he'll fare against Chase Young.


October 18th, 2018 at 5:31 PM ^

"Patterson needs to trust his protection more ..."

This is not something I thought we'd be saying this year.

"The passing approach in general needs some quicker zone-beating stuff."

Say what you will about Borges, but the route concepts we ran with him were good at this kind of thing.  Hopefully it's just a matter of reps and getting everyone on the same page for those playcalls.

Overall, this looks like even more of a hammering than it was live.  Our OL took the line of scrimmage from the snap and never gave it back.


October 18th, 2018 at 5:37 PM ^

If Michigan can put everything together in one game (Shea in the zone, run game on point), then Michigan can crush a good team. There's a lot of good pieces hitting here and there. If they finally all line up, it'll be fun


October 18th, 2018 at 5:53 PM ^

Really liking the added input that Ed Warriner has brought to the play calling. Sounds like last year was a cluster fcuk in so many ways, where the OL coaching was distributed between Frey and Drevno, and its lack of cohesion exacerbated Pep's bad play calling and JH's stubborn Bo-era tendencies. (I mean, FFS, if O'Korn's best quality was his running ability, then why in hell didn't we run a ton of design QB run option plays like Patterson did against Wisconsin? Because he might get a boo boo?) ... Anyway, now Warriner is the sole boss of the OL and he has clearly become integrated into the play calling strategy, where his ideas are showing on the field as an OL that knows WTF it's doing on any given play, and even better, allowing the offense to expand its playbook every week. Big, big upgrade! This is such a better offense than the one that was emasculated by Sparty last year. This year, I trust this staff to make in-game adjustments to overcome whatever the opponent has schemed up to stop us.