MGoBlog has moved. The new site can be found at

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

If this looks goofy, it's because I did it in IE. Firefox and Blogger are acting funny as a combined unit.

O22110Shotgun 3-wideNickelRun-1Zone Read Handoff
Michigan brings up Harrison as a blitzer, shifting Adams in man over the slot receiver. And... wow. Penn State just doesn't block anyone. Will Johnson's allowed into the backfield unmolested, forcing Scott outside. This is not where the play is supposed to go, so John Thompson is unblocked and makes a TFL. This is all on PSU sucking. I guess we can give Johnson a +1.
O21211I-Form TwinsBase 4-3 – ZoneRun1FB Dive
Oh, Paterno. You suck. Taylor(+1) occupies two blockers like he should, refusing to get moved and allowing Thompson to come up to make an unmolested tackle.
O22310Shotgun 3-wideNickelPenalty-5False Start
O17315Ace 3-WideNickelPass-2Sack
Will Johnson(+1) gets the RG on his heels by shoving him almost into an onrushing Crable; Morelli sees the now freed Johnson and starts scrambling up. CGraham(+1) recognizes that he has no one in his zone and starts to close; three Wolverines meet at Morelli. Coverage was good. (Cover +1, Pressure +1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 0-0, 12 min 3rd Q.
O20110Shotgun 5-wide3-3-5 NickelPass-10Fumble
Oh, Morelli. You suck. Also: so does your offensive line. Michigan lines up with three DL and then two linebackers lined up outside the tackles taking an aggressive posture. Both blitz; neither is picked up by the offensive line. Both tackles block down, letting CGraham have an unfettered shot at Morelli. He whiffs(-1), overpursuing foolishly. BGraham, one of the “linebackers” in this set(+1) does not, coming up from behind to sack and strip. (Pressure +1).
Drive Notes: Fumble, 0-0, 9 min 4th Q.
O28110Ace 3-WideNickel – ManRun1Off tackle
It's safe to say that Penn State is not looking to get its right tackle stood up and driven backwards by Shawn Crable, DE (+1). Will Johnson(+1) also drives into the backfield. Crable disconnects and tackles as the linebackers come to help, but this play was dead because of the line and makes me miss Woodley and Branch very much indeed.
O2929Ace 3-WideNickelPass5Out
Adams walks up into a robber zone as John Thompson comes around on a delayed blitz that gets him in unblocked. He hammers Morelli as he throws a duck to Norwood on an out route. Wide open; disappointing because if Morelli has to hesitate for a moment he's sacked for a big loss. (Pressure +1, cover -1, Harrison -1). Believe this is man cover here and this is Harrison's guy.
O3434Shotgun 4-wideNickelPass14Stop
Morelli on a designed rollout that buys him enough time to find Norwood in a gaping hole in Michigan's zone. Can't really fault the pressure here. Again, if Morelli has to hold onto the ball another instant Crable will crush him. (Cover -2). After the reception the ball pops out. I think the replay guys got this right, as Norwood's ass hit the ground before the ball came out, but is this indisputable? It's so close.
O48110Shotgun 2-backNickel – RushPass13Screen
Williams as one of the running backs; the triple option formation we saw out of our opening opponents a lot. This is just a run-of-the-mill screen. John Thompson(-1) reacts late, then comes up too hard, getting weakly chopped by an OL and allowing Scott to dart past him. Then Donovan Warren(-1) takes a terrible angle, yielding another five yards.
M39110Ace 3-WideNickelRun6End-around
Jamison(-2) eschews his contain responsbility by attempting to come inside a blocker; Brandon Harrison(+1) does a nice job of taking down Williams in the open field. A dangerous situation that Jamison was fortunate didn't go for many more.
M3324Ace 3-WideNickelRun8Draw
The pump fake draw we saw plenty of makes its debut. No one actually bites, surprisingly. This goes for good yardage because Will Johnson(-1) attempts to disengage from his guy and puts himself in a terrible position, getting driven downfield when holding the POA probably means third and three. CGraham(-1) also screws up, though he did a nice job dealing with a blocker, by going too far upfield and waving at the legs of Scott.
M25110Ace 3-Wide3-3-5 NickelPass-6Waggle (Sack)
BGraham(+1), unblocked, keeps contain and doesn't overrun, forcing Morelli up into Jamison(+1) who just discarded Cadogan like he was an irritating pixie. (Pressure +2)
M31216Shotgun 3-wideNickelPassIncSwing
Dropped; Thompson in good position if this was completed. (Cover +1)
M31316Shotgun 3-wideNickelPassIncTE Dig
Outstanding coverage from Adams(+2, cover +2) to come over the top and break the pass up.
Drive Notes: PUNT!!!!!!!, 7-0, 5 min 1st Q. Well, at least there's one coach out there who hates David Romer more than ours.
O34110Ace 3-WideNickelRun0Off tackle
I'm not sure what this play design is supposed to be, but when you don't block Chris Graham he can run up and tackle your crappy tailback. This he does. Credit to BGraham(+1) at DE for occupying a double team and nearly splitting it.
O34210Ace 3-WideNickelRun2Off tackle
Kinlaw decides to cut this back... probably the right idea as the guard was way late getting out to the second level. As he does this, Will Johnson(+2) reads it and slips his guy to make a great shoestring tackle to prevent a potential big gainer. (Harrison did slip the block of Norwood and had a shot at this, but it looked potentially dicey.)
O3638Shotgun 3-wideNickelPassIncFlag
We miss most of this play, coming back just as Morelli is about to be swamred by three rushers. He lets an out fly downfield, which is overthrown. Probably good thing it is; Trent(+1) in excellent coverage. (Cover +1).
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-0, 1 min 1st Q. Mathews snags the punt at the sideline and makes an excellent twelve yard return out of it.
O20110I-Form 3-wideNickelRun-1Iso
Taylor(+1) occupies a double team without giving ground, allowing Graham to flow up into the hole. He's met by Hahn, but blows through his block and slows the play up enough for Crable to pick up a TFL. (+1 CGraham.)
O19211Ace 3-WideNickelRun7Draw
Same pump fake draw. I'm not sure WTF Taylor(-1) is doing on this play, but he just stands up at the LOS. Meanwhile, Johnson(-1) gets turned inside and there's major gap. We were blitzing away from the play, leaving only Thompson as a linebacker, and it would have been tough to stop this play even without the gaping and the meinlaven.
O2634Ace 3-WideNickelPass24Flag
Jamison as a standup DE. Morgan Trent(-1) gets beaten a little bit on this route, then does not get his head around on a very poorly thrown ball. There's a play on it if he does. Result: first down. (Cover -2)
50110I-Form NickelPass4Scramble
Thompson(-1) bites hard on a play action fake and I don't know WTF Harrison(-1) thinks he's doing but the result is a wide open TE seam... that Morelli completely ignores. Should have been moot as Johnson(+1) beats his man and is flagrantly held without a call; this flushes Morelli, who scrambles for a minor gain. (Pressure +1, cover -2)
M4626I-Form 3-wideNickelRun5Draw
Thompson(-1) slow to recognize this despite it being the third time they've run it. No plays from anyone along the line; Johnson single blocked and eliminated.
M4131I-Form BigBase 4-3 Run2Off tackle
Kinlaw manages to squeeze this out as he's forced outside but Adams can't quite get an angle to stop him before the marker.
M39110I-Form Base 4-3 Pass23PA Seam
Overshifted; Morelli gives a play action fake and has a ton of time. Quarless wide open twenty yards downfield. (Cover -2, pressure -2). Thompson(-1), CGraham(-1).
M16110Shotgun 2-backBase 4-3 Pass2Screen
Execution of this is all screwed up, but a point for Taylor(+1) for reading this and turning back, forcing one of Kinlaw's blockers to peel off and allowing Thompson to come in without harassment.
M1428Shotgun 3-wideNickelRun3Zone Read Handoff
Uh... don't know what Scott's thinking but he has a wide open lane he decides against taking – I guess CGraham was filling unblocked -- in favor of leaping over a ton of bodies for a few yards.
M1135Shotgun 5-wide3-3-5 NickelPassIncSlant
Warren(-1) beaten. (Cover -1) Morelli throws it to Tacopants.
Drive Notes: FG (28), 7-3, 9 min 2nd Q.
O20110Ace 3-WideNickelRun3Draw
Much better gap integrity from the DTs this time. They close it down, but can't come off to do anything except hold this to a moderate gain.
Little stop route on a half rollout. Trent(+1) tackles immediately. Decent enough.
O2931Shotgun 3-wideNickelPassIncFlag
Highly questionable playcall, no? They roll Morelli out a bit again; he ignores a guy open on a little stop route for the first down in favor of winging a ball -- without setting his feet -- to a guy Harrison's somewhat close to. It bounces off the turf.
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-3, 2 min 2nd Q.
O18110I-Form TwinsUndershifted 4-3Run-2Off tackle
Michigan all over this. Crable(+2) defeats a block from the TE and slices into the backfield for a stop. Good job by Graham in the middle. (+1 BGraham)
O16212I-Form TwinsUndershifted 4-3PassIncPA Flag
Morelli getstime, though Johnson gets to him as he throws the ball. This is out to Quarless, who makes a miracle catch two yards OOB. Ball obviously overthrown but Morelli had little option here, as Warren(+1) was in great coverage and the window was tiny here. (Cover +1)
O16312Shotgun 3-wideNickel – RushPassIncPost
Very delayed corner blitz from Warren is ill timed; he compounds this by falling down as he reaches Moelli. This does cause Morelli to get rid of the ball to Norwood over the middle. Englemon and Adams converge, knocking the ball loose. (Cover +1, Englemon +1)
Drive Notes: Punt, 7-3, 11 min 3rd Q.
O19110Ace 3-WideNickelPass6Out
A short little out against Warren, who is playing way off. (cover -1)
O2524Ace 3-WideUndershifted 4-3Run3Zone left
At least we're not the only one stupidly running into stacked lines. We overload this, they run at it anyway. Jamison is totally unblocked and since Taylor(+1) is clogging the middle Scott has nowhere to go. Jamo(-1) whiffs on the tackle and turns a should-be one yard loss into a two-yard gain.
O2831Ace 3-WideNickel – RushRun19Off guard
Now this I don't understand in the slightest. It's third and one, we're playing Penn State and Anthony Morelli, and we play a straight nickel with soft coverage behind it. This is a down to crowd the line. Instead we have our rush DL w/ Crable a DE and BGraham a DT. Inexplicable. They run right at Crable and BGraham, as there's a crease between the two. CGraham(-1) gets blocked too easily and there's a major hole up the middle. Awful.
O47110I-Form Base 4-3 Pass11PA FB flat
Penn State's band plays the White Stripes. You are not allowed to do that, tools. CGraham(-1) bites on the playfake and lets Hahn get wide open.
M42110Ace 3-WideBase 4-3 Pass11PA Wheel
A fake handoff, then a fake end around. Morelli has all day (pressure -2), eventually finding the end-around guy on a wheel route after the deep stuff is covered. CGraham(-1) again with terrible coverage. (Cover -1)
M31110Ace 3-WideUndershifted 4-3Run0Dive
BGraham(+2) defeats a block, gets free, and tackles this for no gain.
M31210Shotgun 2-backNickelPass20Dig
All day for Morelli; Butler wide open in zone coverage. We have no one anywhere near the middle of the field. (Pressure -2, cover -2). This drive has been too easy for PSU. This appears to be man coverage that Warren(-2) blows badly.
M11110I-Form Base 4-3 Run2Iso
Hahn decides to head outside, blocking no one. Jamison doesn't have contain responsibility since there's a weakside blitz; he flows down the line and nails Scott. This hit shouldn't really force a fumble, so no points for Jamison. Okay... +1. Trent recovers.
Drive Notes: Fumble, 7-3, 6 min 3rd Q. Fumble, IMO, is legit on replay.
M35110I-Form Base 4-3 PassIncPA FB flat
CGraham(+1) does a good job here of convincing Morelli to go to the shorter route, then closing on it. Ball is poorly thrown and allows him to make a play; would have gone for like two otherwise. Probably an error on Morelli's part, as if he gave his WR another moment he would likely have broken open. Maybe not; safety could have been in good position. Don't know. (Cover +1).
M35210I-Form 3-wideNickelRun-2Draw
Pump fake draw. BGraham(+1) comes through to foul this; CGraham finishes it off, unblocked. A primary reason he is: Warren blitzes off the corner, diverting Hahn. Our rock, their scissors.
M37312Shotgun 3-wideNickelPass11TE Out
Harrison blitzes. Quarless runs a little out route here coupled with a skinny post from the outside reciever; Michigan is in three-deep. So Warren's backpedaling off the snap and Graham is covering the guy on the post, leaving Quarless time to turn the ball upfield. Would like better reaction from Warren or Graham here but really this is just an excellent call againts likely cover three that is designed to pick up part of it for a go-for-it on fourth down. Actually, on further review Graham gets a -1 because the ball had been in the air a long, long time before he realized it.
M2641I-Form BigUndershifted 4-3Run1Off tackle
This is an atrocious, atrocious spot. Michigan has him stopped short, his forward progress done. Englemon and Adams have him, and then some PSU OL come in and shove the pile forward three seconds after the play is over. This should be a turnover.
M24110Ace 3-WideNickelPass15 (pen)TE Seam
Man zero from Michigan with two blitzers who do not get there (pressure -2). Adams is all alone with Quarless, gets beat(-1, cover -1) and interferes.
M91GAce 3-WideNickelRun2Draw
CGraham(+1) stands up a pulling guard in the hole, jamming it up and forcing Kinlaw into a mess of bodies.
M72GAce 3-WideNickelPass5PA Stop
Williams comes slightly open as two PSU receivers cross; Thompson is there to haul him down before he can get into the endzone. Neither credit nor blame here; a small window and a good job by Morelli to get it in there with good timing.
M2 3GGoal lineGoal lineRun-10 (pen)Pitch sweep
Holding on PSU. Adams(+1) makes an excellent play on the edge here. Trent also did well.
M123GShotgun 3-wide3-3-5 NickelPassIncDig
Trent(+1) in excellent coverage(+1). Ball thrown short of the endzone anyway.
Drive Notes: FG, 7-6, EO3rd. This is a no-brainer here to take the penalty, IMO. This is one shot at a TD from the 12 plus a field goal versus one shot at a TD from the 2. Given the situation in the game, this is the correct decision.
O20110Shotgun 2-backNickelPassIncPA Flag
Crable(+1) beats the tackle around the edge, forcing Morelli to scrabmle and hurl a ball he's basically throwing away to the sidelines. (Pressure +2, cover +1). Trent(+1) in good position.
O20210Ace 3-Wide3-3-5 NickelRun6Draw
Obvious pass rush configuration here; they run a draw as we blitz our way into a big hole. Jamar Adams comes up to make a decent open field tackle, holding the gain down. The stunting we were doing put us in trouble from the start.
O2634Ace 3-Wide3-3-5 NickelPass13Cross
Yuck. We end up with John Thompson chasing Derrick Williams; this does not work out. Again with the fruitless stunting; only rushing four guys there should be better coverage here. (Cover -1)
O39110Shotgun 3-wideNickelPass8Slant
Warren playing way off Williams, so this is an easy pitch and catch. (Cover -1)
O4722Shotgun 3-wideNickelRun38Draw
Corner blitz from Warren. BGraham(-1) stunts here and gets way too far outside; Englemon(-1)does a very poor job in space once he gets to the second level; CGraham(-1) meekly accepts blocking. Minuses for all!
M15110Ace 3-WideNickelRun1Dive
Will Johnson(+2) absorbs a double team and splits it, stopping this for a minimal gain.
M1429Ace 3-WideNickelPassIncTE Seam
Crable(+1) leaps a cut block and forces Morelli to throw into traffic; Adams(+1) breaks it up. (Cover +1, pressure +1)
M1439Shotgun 3-wideNickelPassIncTE Out
Taylor(+1) comes through the line immediatley, presuring Morelli; he does a decent job of buying a second or two and Thompson loses Quarless. Morelli can't get set and flings out a looper to him; Quarless drops it as two DBs coverge on him would have been fourth down and go-for-it distance if this is complete. (Pressure +2, cover -1).
Drive Notes: FG(31), 6 min 4th Q.
M13110Ace 3-WideNickelPassIncThrowaway
Crable spends this drive as a standup DT. Crable(+1) crahses into two guys, freeing Brandon Graham on a stunt; Morelli rolls out and wings it into the crowd. (Pressure +2)
M13210Ace 3-WideNickelPassIncThrowaway
BGraham(+2) obliterates the OT on this play and is on Morelli immediately. Jamison(+1) was also coming free. Another throwaway. (Pressure +2)
M13310Shotgun 3-wideNickelPassIncPost
Better time; still not great. Will Johnson(+1) comes through, forcing a throw to Norwood that's high; Adams(+1) breaks it up. (Pressure +1, cover +1)
M13410Ace 3-Wide3-3-5 NickelPassIncDesperation Heave
Better time again; Crable makes a nice second effort to come free. Morelli hurls it deep to a double covered guy; Adams(+1) breaks it up. (Cover +1.)
Drive Notes: Turnover on downs, 14-9, EOG.

No touchdowns? We're back!

NSFMF. For the first time ever, UFR has an opposing counterpart on a rival blog. RUTS went through the Penn State offense like a six year old rushing Notre Dame's quarterback. The general results are mostly "arrrgh we suck"; for a primer check the Appalachian State UFR.

There are some items of agreement, like on the first play...

RUTS: Michigan rushes five against our five. I’ll give you one guess what happens. The DT’s pinch to the inside, and the PSU tackles dutifully follow. That leaves TWO unblocked blitzers, one from each side, as our five OL block three Michigan DL.
MGoBlog: Oh, Morelli. You suck. Also: so does your offensive line. Michigan lines up with three DL and then two linebackers lined up outside the tackles taking an aggressive posture. Both blitz; neither is picked up by the offensive line. Both tackles block down, letting CGraham have an unfettered shot at Morelli.
... but overall I think he's a bit harsh to Morelli, who made a lot of questionable throws but had reasons for some of them. That ill-fated screen on first and goal is one such instance. It gets charted "IN" when the problem was not so much with Morelli as with the rest of the team. Michigan did force Penn State into some of its cruddy offense.

But, well... not all of it. I remember thinking "oh, that's six points" on the little third down slant Warren got owned on, but Morelli airmailed it like whoah. He missed wide open receivers several times, scrambled himself into trouble frequently, and generally was Anthony Morelli all day. Against a better quarterback the results will not be nearly so pretty. It remains to be seen whether there is a better quarterback on the schedule, but IMO the jury remains very much out on the defense.



Least effective DL by a longshot.
Major cause of most stuffs; also showed a decent pass rush. Caveat: interior OL for Penn State not very good.
Probably thinking "hallelujah, someone who will run straight at me."


Made a couple plays in the run game.
B. Graham
Might be the best player on the D by a mile. Still waiting.

Didn't do anything when blocked; left a number of guys open.

C. Graham
Well, at least he's doing some stuff right.
Quietly pretty solid this year.

Needs to work on his tackling.
No screwups and many PBUs.
Typical for him.
A large portion of the plus column came on PSU last "drive"; note the vast discrepancy between the totals here (24) versus Notre Dame (only 8); ND hardly had a pass play on which they went downfield. And they still got sacked eight times.
Morelli did not exploit a few wide open receivers, so this was more like a 0 to +3 the way it played out. Still, we did not cover them as well as the stats might suggest.

Excellent day from the DTs, but remember they were going up against a couple of very questionable guards. BGraham was also very good; the same Cadogan-inspired caveat applies to him. Jamison wasn't great but many of the plays he made were not credited highly because of Penn State incompetence; he did do okay.

Linebackers? Are poo! If Morelli had the common sense to look for his kickass tight end (seriously, that one handed catch OOB from Quarless was sweet) more frequently he could have gone for a hundred yards. Thompson did nothing unless he was permitted a free path to the ball; Graham alternated okay to good plays with really bad coverage. If Jonas Mouton isn't seeing any time at all, he must either be badly injured or just bad. Or maybe not. Lord knows this coaching staff often hangs onto their veterans for dear life even if they're obviously very bad.

Warren had a tough day in the secondary, but Trent has quietly emerged into a solid player. I can't remember one issue with his coverage yet save the Todd Howard special in the second quarter, which is irritating but forgivable. And Jamar Adams had the day only a hesitant, open-receiver-allergic quarterback can give a safety.


Adams, Will Johnson, and Brandon Graham. Graham has been very impressive against dubious competition so far. He'll have another two game warmup period before facing Purdue and their potentially very good offensive line. But he may be the best player on the defense already. Johnson was extremely disruptive against both pass and run; Adams broke up everything.


The linebackers and Warren.

What does it mean for Northwestern?

Well, this game does not mean terribly much for that game, but given the Wildcats' performance to date I don't think there will be huge issues. CJ Bacher is not Dennis Dixon, though he's decently mobile, and Michigan seems to have figured out that whole simple zone read handoff thing, albeit two games too late, especially against bleah offensive lines; Northwestern has one of these. If things go seriously wrong, and there is a chance of that, it's time to give up hope for the unit and pray that Henne comes back like 2006 Henne and, uh, we get a new theory of offense.