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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Highlights from Dangerous Logic, per usual.

M33110Ace 3-WideRun4HartZone left
Well blocked. Kraus gets to the second level and drives his man. There's a crease between Bihl, who gets a nice backside block, and the frontside of the line that Hart moves up into. He picks the wrong side of Bihl and turns what could have been eight into four, though.
M3726Ace Run0HartZone left
We'll have to see if this holds up, but my theory on the run game is that Iowa slanted and jumped the hell out of all our zone plays, overpursuing like mad. At halftime, the coaches told Hart to cut everything way back, and voila: room. On this snap, Iowa is slanting left at the snap and thus gets penetration from virtually everyone. The backside's way open but Hart's not used to making this cut so soon. Iowa is jumping this play: a bad call from DeBord.
M3736Ace 3-WidePass1--Scramble
No reason for Henne to leave the pocket here, as it's held up beautifully. He starts scrambling but there's no way he's going to get the first. He had time to sit and find someone (Hart releasing into a checkdown that would have been open versus this man coverage) and pick up the first. (BR)
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0,11 min 1st Q. First of a number of instances where Henne has time and decides to scramble out without being pressured. Second-down play was telegraphed.
M29110Ace Run1HartZone left
Oluigbo in the game functioning as an H-back. He motions to the short side of the field, overloading it. Mitchell(-1) can't even bother the DT – another one of these playside blocks – forcing a Hart cutback into nothing.
M3029Ace 3-WidePass7BreastonOut
This spot is a travesty. Breaston either has the first down or is inches away from it, but is bashed out of bounds by the defensive back. The ref on the sideline spots it where he goes out of bounds. (CA, 3) I'm livid about this spot. It's inexplicable. Why no review?
M3732Ace 3TERun1HartZone right
Again with the slanting towards the strength of the formation. Kraus(-1) is blown into the backfield and is the main offender on the OL, but Mitchell(-1) didn't do much either.
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 6 min 1st Q.
M41110Ace 3-WidePass8Arrington Out
Open for a shortish gain. Arrington does well to make a quick turn and pick up a bunch of YAC. (CA, 3)
5021Ace 3-WidePass14Arrington Cross
Plenty of time; Arrington comes open on a crossing route. Makes 7 or 8 after the catch. (CA, 3)
O36110Ace 3-WideRun-7HartZone left
Hold on Carson Butler(-1), and a deserved one. He tackled his dude, allowing Hart the corner. If he had just let go after getting the block, he probably would have given him the corner anyway.
O43117Ace 4-WidePass4Arrington Cross
Klikenborg is right there to make the tackle and remove any YAC possibilities. If Arrington keeps running instead of coming to a stop he might get the corner on the slow-ish linebacker. (CA, 3)
O39213Five WidePassIncHartThrowaway
Plenty of time. Receivers that are visible are covered. Henne eventually does his rollout-into-defenders thing and throws the ball away. (TA)
O39313Ace 3-WidePass8*Arrington Post
Stupid penalty on the Iowa defender as he drives through Arrington well before the ball gets there, drawing an obvious flag. Don't mind the throw short of the sticks here because at this spot on the field nine or ten yards either gives you a field goal attempt or a makeable fourth down. (CA, N/A)
O31110Ace 3-WidePass-14--Sack
Missed blitz pickup. The corner comes on a blitz as Hart goes out on a pattern. Riley slides over to pick him up, but Mitchell continues double-teaming the DT with Bihl, leaving Mattison virtually unblocked. (PR)
O45224Ace 3-WidePass13ButlerTE Cross
Good protection this time. Henne finds Butler and hits him in stride at a point where he has a chance to get some YAC. (CA, 3)
M32311Ace 3-WidePass-7--Sack
Henne again has plenty of time, then freaks out with the unnecessary running thing. He runs himself into a sack. Plenty of time and third and 11 from the 32: either throw it away or bomb it into coverage. (BR)
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 13 min 2nd Q.
M43110Ace 3-WidePass17ButlerTE Out
Well timed and thrown where Butler has room to turn upfield for a nice gain after the catch. Butler shows some agility tip-toeing down the sidelines. (CA, 3)
O40110Ace Run8HartZone right
Somewhat in keeping with my theory: we line up in a balanced formation, not tipping what side the play will go to. We go right, away from Long, et al, and there's no penetration into the backfield this time. Hart finds a hole on the backside, gets five yards downfield, and then grinds for an impossible further three.
O3222Ace Run4HartZone right
Jake Long comes down the line, managing to interfere with the penetrating DT enough for Hart to bounce outside between TEs and Riley.
O28110Ace 3-WideRun-1BreastonEnd-Around
Corner opposite Arrington blitzes right past him into the backfield, screwing up the play's timing.
O29211Ace 4-WidePass8BreastonSlip screen
Butler split out as a wideout to the top of the screen with another player. Breaston motions to the their side and takes the slip screen. Iowa forces it inside but there's no one in position to stop it – no man coverage. (CA, 3)
O2133Ace 3-WidePass5MathewsCross
Receivers bunched tightly just off right tackle, Butler lines up to the left. Mark Bihl(-2) is owned by Mattison. Henne manages to get a duck off to Mathews, who scoops the ball up and gets the first down. Ugly but effective from Henne. (CA, 2)
O16110Ace 3-WidePassIncButlerTE Cross
A little behind Butler but still catchable... and if caught, Butler walks in to the endzone. (CA, 2)
O16210Ace 3-WidePass12ButlerTE Cross
Exact same play, this time against man coverage instead of zone. Butler has a step on Humpel but not quite enough to get past him and into the endzone. (CA, 3)
O4 1GAce Run1HartZone left
Disappointing, since the left side of the ball really blew Iowa off the ball. Probably because two guys are blocking three and the third guy, a linebacker, is unblocked. Probably a Kraus or Bihl screwup.
O3 2GAce 3-WidePassIncArrington Fade
Goddammit, this is a touchdown. He does bobble it but then he catches it and gets his toe in-bounds. No review? WTF. (CA, 2)
O3 3GAce 3-WidePassIncArrington Fade
This one's really close and would have stood as called on the field no matter how it was originally called. (CA, 2)
Drive Notes: FG, 3-0, 7 min 2nd Q.
M39110Ace Run1HartZone right
No room. Iowa is lined up in a 5-2, covering the wide-side tight end. We run there and get no push. Bihl(-1) goes backwards; Hart runs up into no hole.
M4029Five WidePass3BreastonSlip screen
Again they motion him to two WRs towards the top of the field and throw the slip screen. IMO: a ridiculously stupid call. Iowa's bringing guys up to stop the run whenever you threaten it, so the best way to run a slip screen is to empty the backfield? Where's the play action in this game? (CA, 3)
M4336Ace 3-WidePass10BreastonOut
Godfrey is in nice coverage, but Henne puts this right on Breaston's fingertips, outside of the defender's reach. (DO, 3)
O47110I-FormPassInc / -10BreastonBomb
Holding on Mitchell(-1)... really obvious call. Deep ball is to a covered Breaston and is winged long. Maybe TA, but filed as IN. (IN, 0)
M43120I-FormRun4HartZone left
Safety comes up just before the snap and convinces Hart to cut it back inside instead of heading out to open space... if he's a few yards back at the snap Hart pops this outside. Irritating that they can do this in first and twenty.
M47216Ace 3-WidePass11HartDumpoff
Okay: we have been running some play action, but they're always draw fakes on drop-back passes, like this play. We haven't run a draw all game. Anyway: this is what Henne needs to do instead of taking off on those ineffective scrambles of his. Everyone's covered downfield, so dump it down to Hart and let him run with the ball. (CA, 3)
O4235I-Form 3-WidePassIncArrington Out
Arrington open; Henne throws it wide. Griese claims that Arrington got out of his break late, but if it's a yard further inside he catches it. (IN, 0)
Drive Notes: Punt, 3-0, 1 min 2nd Q.
M49110Ace 3-WidePass15Arrington Out
Couldn't we get this on the last drive? (CA, 3)
M34110Ace 3-WidePassIncN/AHail Mary
Incomplete; not charted.
Drive Notes: EOH, 3-0, EOH.
M5110Ace Run4HartZone left
I have no idea what happens because ABC does the field-level endzone thing again. Thanks, stupid director!
M926Ace 3-WidePass11Arrington Slant
Easy throw and catch. (CA, 3)
M20110Ace Pass7HartSwing
Henne doing a better job with his reads and his time here, coming down to his third receiver, which is Hart on a swing pass. (CA, 3)
M2723Ace Run2HartZone right
Safety fills a decent hole. You can see that the Iowa defense is reading these plays really quickly and attacking at the LOS instead of waiting in the backfield.
M2931Ace Penalty-5ButlerFalse start
Hopefully he's just young and not going to keep doing this.
M2436Ace 3-WidePass6MathewsCross
Mathews coming across the zone; ducks underneath a potential tackler and manages to get the first down. (CA, 3)
M30110I-FormPass-12-- Sack
Riley comes back in the game and immediately lets Mattison go right around him and knock the ball loose. He recovers the resulting fumble. (PR)
M18222Ace 4-WidePassIncArrington Batted
Only a three-man rush. We've got a three-step drop; the pass is batted. (BA, 0)
M18322Ace 3-WidePassIntButlerSeam
Perhaps one of the reasons this ball was overthrowns was Butler being held for a good ten yards. I mean... seriously. Anyway... Henne drew the safety to the ball by staring it down, so this is a (BR), but there really should be a flag on this play. (BR, 0)
Drive Notes: Interception, 3-0, 11 min 3rd Q.
O35110I-FormRun-1HartZone left
Holding penalty on Arrington(-1) negates a 16-yard run. Brian Thompson kicks out a linebacker lined up on the LOS, providing a crease between himself and Long. Obi flows into the hole first, forcing the safety to try to go under him; this doesn't work. Holding call downfield is lame but technically accurate.
O36111Ace 3-WidePassIncArrington Post
Deflected by Klinkenborg, who's dropped deep. (BR, 0)
O36211Ace 3-WideRun5HartDraw
We finally run this thing after having faked it four or five times. With only six guys in the box it works fairly well, but instead of a crease right up the middle a la Penn State, Hart' forced outside where a safety can disengage and eventually tackle.
O3136Ace 3-WidePass7BreastonSlant
Hey, he caught one. (CA, 3)
O24110Ace Run4HartZone right
Massive cutback all the way outside the backside DE leaves him and Arrington two-on two with a safety and a corner; I don't know if this is miscommunication or what, but Hart takes a few yards instead of maybe getting more.
O2026Ace 3-WideRun0HartZone right
No one gets blocked. Neither DT. Butler can't hold his on the edge. Boren can't hold off Klinkenborg. Etc.
O2036Ace 3-WidePass11Arrington Slant
Pitch and catch w/ draw fake. Draw fakes seem designed to hold the LB inside so they can't get out in the passing lanes, but this is man anyway. (CA, 3)
O91GI-Form TwinsRun9HartZone left
Touchdown. One of the few times in the game where we run away from the strength of the formation. No penetration this time – maybe because we go to the side they don't expect us to. With Iowa slanted towards the TE side everyone has to attack the frontside; the linebacker and DE on the backside are both useless, waiting for the play to come to them. Boren and Mitchell have one guy to block. Boren does an excellent job and Hart powers through the safety for the last three.
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 10-3, 6 min 3rd Q.
M31110I-Form TwinsRun10HartZone right
I think this play is actually designed to get to the backside. We run away from the the strenght of the formation but Oluigbo immediately heads to the backside to seal a linebacker. Hart breaks a tackle four yards downfield and powers for the last two or three.
M41110I-Form TwinsRun9HartZone right
Confirms my suspicions about the last play, as the fullback heads right this time. Hart manages to squirt through a tiny crease, breaking a DL's tackle.
5021I-FormRun7HartZone left
Another play away from the strongside, another cutback. Good job by Butler(+1) to kick the DE out and open up a big hole.
O43110I-Form TwinsPass4BreastonSlip screen
These have been well defended by Iowa all day. (CA, 3)
O3926I-Form TwinsPass10Arrington Out
Easy throw and catch with Iowa playing off. (CA, 3)
O29110I-Form TwinsRun4HartZone left
Play is extremely well blocked; think Hart needs to recognize this and get upfield faster. He's indecisive, changing his mind about whether he's going inside or outside of Long, allowing a couple Iowa defenders to disengage.
O2526I-Form TwinsRun4HartZone right
Will Paul in at FB. He manages to kick out a charging safety. Hart's forced to cut up inside of him where there are a lot of bodies.
O2132I-FormRun1HartZone right
Well... Boren has one of these playside blocks... and it's a really playside block. All game Iowa's been lining up with defensive linemen directly over the three interior linemen and two guys split out wide: Boren's asked to block the guy lined up over Bihl. This he does not do. Hart cutback ends up with but a yard.
Drive Notes: FG, 13-6, 13 min 4th Q.
M41110I-Form TwinsRun1HartZone left
Now an eighth guy in the box. Hart's cutback lane is filled with an unblocked linebacker.
M4229Ace 4-WidePass6Arrington Cross
Tackled immediately, but open underneath like he has been all day. (CA, 3)
M4833Ace 4-WidePassIncArrington Cross
No one open at first. Henne starts scrambling out. It looks like it's going to be another one of these plays where he scrambles uselessly and is eventually sacked. But this time he finds Arrington for first down yardage; it's only a great play by the Iowa defender that prevents a completion. (CA, 0)
Drive Notes: Punt, 13-6, 10 min 4th Q.
O43110Ace 3-WidePass4MathewsCross
Mathews in front of the zone; a checkdown. (CA, 3)
O3926I-FormRun4HartZone left
Hart cuts behind Oluigbo after finding a hole between Butler and Long. A DT grabs him and Hart starts hauling him forward before Merrick grabs his ankles.
O3532I-Form TwinsRun2HartZone left
Controversial reversed fumble... well, not so controversial as he's obviously down. With Hart leaning forward and his knee down around the 34 it's probably right-ish but generous. Either way Michigan was in sneak range on fourth down.
O33110I-Form TwinsRun-1HartZone left
Jake Long(-1) defeated and pancaked by the defensive end. Looks like he tripped or something. Free DE makes the TFL.
O34211I-Form 3-WidePass12BreastonOut
Again: easy catch and throw. (CA, 3)
O22110I-Form TwinsRun4HartZone left
Against strength of formation: cutback. Oluigbo heads straight upfield this time. Anyway: Butler kicks out the DE and everyone flowing down the line opens up a big hole back there. Hart tackes it. An excellent tackle from Fletcher keeps this gain down... if only Obi had cut all the way to the right.
O1826I-Form TwinsRun7HartZone left
Obi heads out playside this time, blocking a charging safety. Hart cuts back behind a wall of Obi, Long, and Kraus. Reason there's a big hole? Outstanding playside block from Bihl, crushing his man backwards. Hesitancy to penetrate because of the cutback?
O11110I-FormRun1HartZone left
Obi playside. Almost a replay of the last play, except Mitchel (now at RT), can't prevent Mattison from flowing down the line and making the tackle at the LOS.
O1029I-FormRun10HartZone right (2, 3)
Touchdown. Away from strength of formation, Obi takes a couple steps playside then shoots out to the backside, cutting the last guy with a chance at Hart. A counter zone? We've done this too often for this to be improvisation. Chris of DL instructs me to "give the fullbacks some love." LOVE!
Drive Notes: Touchdown, 20-6, 4 min 4th Q.

Charty Charty Chart Chart.

Yes. Henne:

Notre Dame
Michigan State
Penn State

(Now with explanatory legend.)

You'll note a ton of additional throws filed under "CA". This is due in large part to Iowa's effective gameplan against our run game -- more on that later -- which allowed Iowa to keep its safeties ten yards off the LOS. Without Manningham or a favorable presnap situation, Michigan hardly went downfield. As a result, Henne threw a lot of outs and crosses and the like. With few deep throws, the chances of things other than "CA" were minimized. Henne was generally accurate but not inspiring.

One issue: a high number of BRs. Only one was a dangerous throw into coverage -- the interception on the seam route -- but a total of four is high. Henne started the game doing that scramble-into-danger thing when the pocket was holding, essentially sacking himself. That hesitancy has crept into his game in recent weeks; hopefully it's more a function of no Manningham than anything else.


  • 0 = totally uncatchable
  • 1 = difficult catch worthy of Avant.
  • 2 = tough-ish catch.
  • 3 = aaaaargh if dropped.

This Game

I just want to point out that since I started charting Breaston's dropped all of one "3". I know he had some early dodginess and Michigan's protecting him by not throwing him balls he's unlikely to catch (slants, anyone?) but I think concerns about his hands are overblown.

Mathews had a nice debut -- a functional debut, anyway, unless you want to count blocking -- and looks like he'll be a good #3 the next couple years.

Butler is developing into a weapon. A weapon good for a false start per game, sure, but he's just a freshman.

Hart had 27 yards at halftime and just under 100 after. WTF?

I gots a theory: Iowa, being well coached and familiar with zone running, figured out a way to deal with the Michigan run game: line up three penetrating interior linemen directly over the Michigan guards and centers with the remaining DE and a linebacker split wide, creating a five-man front. The linemen slanted heavily towards the strength of the formation at the snap, cutting off the outside, geting penetration, and bottling Hart up.

After halftime, Michigan frequently lined up in the I and ran against the strength of the formation, only to have Hart cut back to the cavernous -- and overloaded! -- backside. Occasionally, Oluigbo would even bolt out to the backside and crush the last man between Hart and an eight- or ten-yard gain. The best example of this was the last real offensive play of the game, when Oluigbo took a couple steps to the right, then radically changed direction and plowed the last guy with a chance to close down the massive backside/strongside hole. If we hadn't run him at the back of the formation a couple times already, you could assume it was a brilliant improvisation, but I think it was the playcall: a counter zone or something.

The side effect of all the backside/weakside stuff was to mute the quick penetration of the Iowa line since they couldn't be sure which way the play was going based on the formation. Not coincidentally, Hart's best run in the first half came when Michigan lined up in balanced two TE set and Iowa couldn't crash the strongside.

So... consider Riley exonerated and hold off on the Boren coronation.

What does it mean for Ohio State?

We have to be concerned that Iowa managed to bring our run game to a standstill for a half without committing an extra man to the box. Our second-half adjustment got us rolling, but how effective will it be when Ohio State has it on film and can plan for it?

The rest? MOTS, really. Occasional dodginess from the OL, Henne good but still a little prone to unforced errors, Breaston and Arrington still Breaston and Arrington, etc.