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UM's 4Q drive

by Mike (bart), Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 08:39

Thoughts:

A key sequence from a weird game. I think this series is illustrative of the fact that (particularly early in the season) we didn't have a "perfect" defense last yeah in the sense of every player being an expert and virtuoso at their position, but technique and effort were really quite good throughout. Obviously we got an exceptional overall performance last year, but the idea that our players and coaches "have nowhere to go but down" really isn't correct.

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The situation: Michigan scored a field goal at the end of the 3rd Q to pull within a touchdown (10-3). ND then put together a nice drive that culminated in a 39-yard Brindza FG. ND kicks off to Michigan up 13-3, 6:49 left in the game.

KOR (6:20 in vid)

Norfleet finds a small seam up the right side. Return to UM 30.

1 and 10. UM 30.
UM with Twins (stacked) Lt, 2 TE (attached) Rt, single back

Nice play action fake by Denard. Te'o and Calabrese bite initially, though Te'o recovers more quickly than Calabrese. Russell does a nice job of making sure he takes his read steps before committing to anything, meaning he doesn't bite on the play action. Shembo breaks through Schofield's block and towards the QB, forcing an all-arm throw from Denard.

It's a good thing, too: we were in Cover 2 on this play. Jackson and Motta played their side rather well, but Farley and Russell exhibit quite a bit of inexperience here. The UM TE on the right (Funchess) went vertical, and appears to be well covered by Motta. Farley, though, looks to be guessing that a throw will go toward Funchess anyway, and has drifted dangerously to the middle of the field. Russell is not aware of this, and has passed the UM WR (Gardener) off into a pretty open zone. Fortunately, the shit throw (assist to Shembo) and Farley's make up speed prevent Gardener from making a sensational catch.

2 and 10 UM 30.
Shotgun, split backs. TE Lt. Elephant Lt. FL Lt. (weird formation)

Nevermind. Whistled Dead.


2nd and 10 UM 30. (6:46 in vid)
Shotgun, split backs. 2 TE (one to each side), Fl Lt. Left HB motions behind QB pre-snap.

Play-action, but nobody bites. The left HB continues his motion into a wheel route, but B. Jackson sits right on top of it. UM OL is holding up, but giving ground Robinson gets happy feet. Shembo breaks through again, Denard launches a pass into double coverage down the right side. Jackson, Motta and the throw combine for the break up. Motta probably had a good shot at the interception here, but I understand the impulse to play conservatively.

3 and 10. UM 30. (6:59 in vid)
Shotgun. 4 WR (3x1). HB right.

ND rushes three, but Tuitt gets around Schofield very quickly. Robinson makes a nice play to duck under the speed rush and into the area Tuitt has vacated. Watch at 701 in the video - Ishaq has made a nice drop into the flat, but gets caught in no man's land as Robinson approaches the LOS. He elects to come up on Denard, forcing the throw. Shoelaces zips in a nice pass to the WR for a 1st Down. The WR was still pretty well covered by Jackson, but the WR was between him (Jackson) and the QB. Ideally on this play, Ishaq would recognized it was 3rd and 10 and waited until Denard crossed the LOS before committing to the QB. IN his defense, however, you never want to take chances with Denard Robinson. A better play by Ishaq or a different dude at QB probably would have put this one dead to rights.

1 and 10. UM 43. (7:08 in vid)
Shotgun. TE Lt. 2 FL Lt. SE Rt. HB Lt.

Screw-up by Spond on this play, I think. At the snap, the Lt TE (Funchess?) goes vertical and Te'o runs immediately with him. Spoond turns his hips to run with Funchess before thinking better of it. The left slot man (who we/Spond had left uncovered) during this time flares out on a swing pass. He makes a couple of nice moves and gains about 12. We look to be in a pretty alignment, coverage-wise.

1 and 10. ND 45. (7:17 in vid)
UM basically motions into an Ace look with the Lt TE off of the line and the Left WR on the line.

Play-action, but UM's RG gives the play away by obviously setting his "pull" up into a pocket way too quickly. No one is fooled, but UM runs a high-low stretch (basically a smash concept) to the backside. Jackson and Motta don't do a real good job here (Jackson, in particular, catches himself in no man's land; Motta looks like he turned his hips the wrong way before the WR broke to the sideline), but credit is also due to Robinson, who makes a nice throw in rhythm, the WR runs a nice route as well. Gain of 20.

1 and 10. ND 25. 5:17 left in game (7:26 in vid)
UM Shotgun. TE Rt. 3 WR (1x2). HB Rt.

ND sends 6 rushers on this play. The RB gets enough of Carlo's leg to send him flying into the air. Denard, who has been drifting back, throws off his back foot to Funchess (it appears a couple of guys were open on this play). Funchess makes the catch but is immediately planted by Motta. Gain of 4 or so, but the clock keeps running. Pretty big gamble here that didn't pay off. Thankfully Motta made the play when it was there to be made.

2 and 6. ND 19. (7:35 in vid)
Same formation.

Draw play. ND only rushes 3, but they go way upfield. The OGs get out on Te'o and Foxabrese, who seem slow reading the play. Spond gets blocked by Funchess, who is not a good blocker. There's good enough pursuit, and B. Jackson makes the tackle after a gain of 12.

1 and GL. ND 6. (7:44 in vid)
Same formation. UM is going hurry up at this point.

QB Power Rt. Trench battles are essentially a stalemate, with the exception of Day "vs." Funchess, and Shembo vs. air. Day makes the play at the LOS, but either A) Shembo's backside pursuit or B) Te'o (who was unblocked on account of the DL standing up the OL) would have bottled this up quickly either way.

2 and GL. ND 6.
Same formation.

Pass. DL does a nice job with a "contain" rush. Great discipline and good job controlling UM blockers. We are dropping 7, which in the red zone against a short QB should be a prettyy exhaustive defense. Robinson tries to break outside to the right to extend the play, but Day disengages from Schofield and grabs him by the shoelaces. Shembo finishes the job. Loss of 9.


3 and GL. ND 15.
New formation. Shotgun. 4 WR (2x2), HB Rt.


DL pins their ears back and crumples the Michigan pocket. Nice job by Denard to stay in and get the throw off. HEave to Gardener, who between the throw and the defender doesn't really have a play on the ball.

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