Sunday, November 29, 2020

Penn State 27, Michigan 17


Hassan Haskins (image via Freep)

Michigan's lineup compared to where it should be:

  • QB: Joe Milton Dylan McCaffrey Cade McNamara Joe Milton
  • RB: Hassan Haskins
  • WR: Nico Collins Cornelius Johnson
  • WR: Ronnie Bell
  • WR: Giles Jackson A.J. Henning
  • TE: Nick Eubanks
  • LT: Ryan Hayes Karsen Barnhart
  • LG: Chuck Filiaga Trevor Keegan
  • C: Andrew Vastardis Zach Carpenter
  • RG: Andrew Stueber Zak Zinter Chuck Filiaga
  • RT: Jalen Mayfield Andrew Stueber
  • DE: Aidan Hutchinson Carlo Kemp
  • DT: Carlo Kemp Chris Hinton, Jr.
  • NT: Donovan Jeter
  • DE: Kwity Paye
  • Viper: Michael Barrett
  • MIKE: Cam McGrone Adam Shibley
  • WILL: Josh Ross
  • CB: Gemon Green
  • CB: Ambry Thomas Vincent Gray
  • S: Brad Hawkins Hunter Reynolds
  • S: Dax Hill

Going back six weeks to opening day, Michigan has 8 backups playing. And if you count the opt-outs, there are 12 positions affected. This is a MASH unit unlike anything I can remember at Michigan.

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Friday, November 27, 2020

Preview: Michigan vs. Penn State


Jahan Dotson (image via The Morning Call)

Michigan trimmed its running back rotation a little last week, finding its most efficient running back: Hassan Haskins. Haskins notched 25 carries for 109 yards (in three overtimes), the most carries for any single back since Zach Charbonnet's 33 attempts against Army in 2019. Even so, Michigan is #102 in rushing (122.8 yards/game) and #69 in yards per attempt (4.21). Rumor has it that Michigan's starting offensive tackles may return from injury this week, which might fortify a running game that was supposed to be solid, though maybe not great. Blake Corum has the second most carries despite averaging 3.0, -1.5, 0.7, and 2.3 yards per carry over the past four weeks. Penn State is #39 in rush defense (138.6 yards allowed/game) and #34 in yards per carry allowed (3.63). Last week Iowa ran for 4 touchdowns, but at just 3.8 yards per rush. Sophomore defensive end Jayson Oweh (6'5", 252) leads the team with 33 tackles and 5.5 tackles for loss, matched in tackles by junior linebacker Ellis Brooks (6'1", 233) and in tackles for loss by senior defensive end Shaka Toney (6'3", 252). The Nittany Lions are down star linebacker Micah Parsons, but they still have a fair amount of talent in the front seven. Also, keep an eye on #97 P.J. Mustipher, a 6'4", 300 lb. defensive tackle who doesn't rack up a lot of stats, but messes things up in the middle. Especially if it's the revamped Michigan line and not the group that began the year, he could cause some real problems up front.
Advantage: Penn State

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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Snapshots: Pin and pull, but why no reads?

 As with many of these snapshot plays, I'm limited with my time - and these take a while - so I apologize for not going into more depth.

In the second quarter with the Wolverines down 7-0 to Rutgers, Michigan had a 2nd-and-1 play with Blake Corum in the backfield in 11 personnel (1 running back, 1 tight end).

Pre-snap, the setup looks like this:

Power read, a play Michigan would not could not run.

That's Corum to the right of the QB, and it sets up perfectly (at least in my mind) for power read. One unblocked playside defender is the field safety at 10 yards, and if the receivers block, Corum has to make a guy miss in the open field. The other unblocked playside defender is the end, because the call would put him in conflict, forcing him to either chase Corum or keep an eye on the 6'5", 243 lb. QB with the 4.62 forty.

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Sunday, November 22, 2020

Michigan 48, Rutgers 42 (3 OT)


Cade McNamara gets harassed by former Michigan DT Michael Dwumfour (image via Michigan Daily)

Winning feels good. I don't really care that it was Rutgers. I don't really care that it took three overtimes. I don't really care that I had to stay up until midnight to watch the finish. I went to bed feeling . . . maybe not happy, but relieved.

Remember, remember, the 23rd of September . . . On September 23, 2017, quarterback Wilton Speight's back got broken on a dirty hit by Purdue. In stepped backup John O'Korn, who completed 69.2% of his passes for 270 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception for an offense that had been disappointing up to that point. He was the savior! The following week he threw 3 interceptions against Michigan State and would finish with 2 touchdowns and 6 interceptions on the year. The Purdue game was Fool's Gold. So I have that in the back of my mind going into the next section.

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Friday, November 20, 2020

Preview: Michigan at Rutgers


Isaih Pacheco

Michigan is now #106 in rush offense (117 yards/game) and #55 in yards per carry (4.59). As bad/mediocre as that sounds, it's worse than that, because Michigan ran all over Minnesota in the opener and has done nothing since. No word has trickled out about whether Michigan's starting offensive tackles will return this weekend from injury, but I expect very little unless at least right tackle Jalen Mayfield returns. Last week Michigan gave leading rusher Hassan Haskins (7.8 yards/carry) just one touch, so I have no idea what's going on with the running back rotation. Rutgers is #70 in rushing defense (175 yards allowed/game) but #46 in yards allowed per carry (4.0). They're led in tackles by senior linebacker Olakunle Fatukasi (6'1", 234 lbs.) with 50, while senior Tyshon Fogg (6'1", 232) is second with 39. Fatukasi (6.5) and defensive tackle Julius Turner (6'0", 265) lead the team with 6.5 and 4.5 tackles for loss, respectively. Turner is undersized, but I like his quickness. Former Michigan defensive tackle Michael Dwumfour (6'1", 296) has notched 14 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss so far this year.
Advantage: Rutgers

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Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Inside Zone BASH Concept

 I'm putting this piece together very quickly, so I apologize that it's not super in depth. I just don't have a whole lot of time.

I was inspired by a tweet from Stephen Osentoski, who does a good job of making football videos for YouTube/Twitter on Michigan football. I'm not trying to call him out here, but I wanted to clarify something based on a recent tweet from him:

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Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Ex-Wolverine Updates: Week 10


Brady Hoke (image via SDSU)


WR Tarik Black (Texas): Texas (5-2) had a bye.

WR Kekoa Crawford (Cal): Crawford had 1 catch for 10 yards in a 34-10 loss to UCLA.

DT Michael Dwumfour (Rutgers): Dwumfour made 1 tackle in a 23-20 loss to Illinois.

OT James Hudson III (Cincinnati): Hudson started at left tackle in a 55-17 win over East Carolina.

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Monday, November 16, 2020

Michigan vs. Wisconsin Awards


Cade McNamara (image via Freep)

Let's see more of this guy on offense . . . Hassan Haskins. The team's leading rusher had 1 carry for 6 yards. The end.

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Sunday, November 15, 2020

Wisconsin 49, Michigan 11


This is a shell of a team. Life sucks, at least in a football sense. In addition to starting WR Nico Collins and CB Ambry Thomas, who opted out, Michigan was without DE Kwity Paye, DE Aidan Hutchinson, LT Ryan Hayes, and RT Jalen Mayfield. Basically, every guy who looks like a surefire draft pick (at some point) sat out of this game except S Dax Hill. And if you're counting on a safety to lead your squad to victory, you're going to be disappointed most of the time.

Hit the jump.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Preview: Michigan vs. Wisconsin


Graham Mertz (image via The Spun)

As I write this on Wednesday/Thursday, there's not much known about which Wisconsin players will be available to play on Saturday, including starting QB Graham Mertz, which is kind of a big deal. This preview assumes they're at full strength.

Michigan is #84 in rush offense (140.3 yards/game) and #31 in rushing average (5.1 yards/carry). That second number is a bit of a lie, because the Wolverines ran all over Minnesota in week one and have struggled mightily in the past two games. The "bell cow" so far this season is Hassan Haskins, who is averaging a whopping 6.67 carries per game. I have confidence that the offensive line will improve as the season goes along, because offensive line coach Ed Warinner has pulled off that feat before. But Michigan was missing its starting offensive tackles last week, and it's unclear whether they'll be back for Wisconsin or not. Meanwhile, Wisconsin allowed 131 yards in its lone game against Illinois this season on 5.24 yards/attempt. Those numbers aren't good for the Badgers, but they were hurt by a couple quarterback keepers (by former Wolverine Brandon Peters) that Michigan has seemingly been unwilling to run. Wisconsin runs a 3-4 look that generally does a good job of swarming to the football. Junior linebacker Jack Sanborn (6'2", 232 lbs.) is probably the biggest name on defense, and he made 3 tackles and 2 quarterback hurries in the opener. I was also impressed by senior defensive end Isaiahh Loudermilk (6'7", 293) in that game against the Illini.
Advantage: Wisconsin

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