Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Moeaki touchdowns

Tony Moeaki looked good against our defense. To the tune of 105 yards on 6 receptions. I wasn't exactly sure why. When I was watching the game, I thought that Robinson called a zero blitz on the plays and Moeaki slipped out for his two long touchdown receptions. Going back and watching the videos is... a lot more disappointing. Take a look:

Michigan is lined up in man coverage with Kovacs covering the slot receiver to the top of the screen. Warren and Woolfolk have their respective WRs. Williams, the other safety on the field is lined up on the line of scrimmage, showing blitz. Michigan is showing an all-out blitz.

At the snap, Michigan brings a zero blitz, leaving Kovacs, Woolfolk, and Warren to cover their receivers one-on-one. The huge mistake comes at the hands of Williams, who is lined up at the line of scrimmage. His responsibility here is to read the tight end. If the tight end stays in to block, Williams blitzes. If the tight end pops out, Williams has him in coverage.

The linebackers are now bringing their blitz. Williams reads Moeaki who has a delayed, block-release call. If you watch the video, you see Williams hesitate before he starts to blitz, like he is above. Here, Moeaki is still engaged in his block (the top blocker in at the line of scrimmage). You can see Williams crashing hard, not watching Moeaki anymore.

Moeaki has now released from his block, once Williams runs by him. The slot receiver is about to break into a corner route, pulling Kovacs to the sideline and leaving the entire center of the field open.

Moeaki catches the ball with no one anywhere near him. Kovacs has now turned his back to the middle of the field to cover the corner route that the slot receiver is running. Woolfolk and Warren have good coverage on their men but are nowhere near Moeaki, who scampers 35 yards to the endzone, untouched. This play is completely on Williams. Check the video:

Take a look at the other Moeaki long touchdown after the break

When I was watching the game, I thought that they ran basically the exact same play to free Moeaki again. Not true. This second play is entirely on the three linebackers. I'm not exactly sure who was supposed to cover Moeaki, but all three linebackers bit hard on play action on this play. Stanzi had two different receivers who could've run, untouched, into the end zone on this play.

Michigan is lined up in a 4-3 here with Warren in single coverage at the top of the screen. Iowa has a tight end and motions their slot receiver into an H-back position. Woolfolk starts deep but creeps up to the line of scrimmage and comes on a blitz. Kovacs is set up as the only safety and is shaded over the strongside of the play. My guess is that he is supposed to cover Moeaki or the H-back on the strongside of play. He doesn't do either.

After the snap, the H-back and Moeaki (on the bottom of the screen) both release upfield. Stanzi is faking the handoff in the backfield and will end up rolling out to his right. Kovacs is sitting down, waiting on the run, and Woolfolk comes on a delayed blitz. All three linebackers bite hard on the play fake.

Stanzi is rolling out, Woolfolk is filling the gap in front of him. No one is covering Moeaki, who is coming across the play on a drag, or the H-back who is running  a seam route. The linebackers now realize how badly they've been fooled and are running to catch up. Kovacs also bit on the run and is way behind in his coverage.

Stanzi throws to a now wide open Moeaki who's being chased by the three linebackers. Woolfolk is turning upfield to try and recover. He comes close but doesn't get there.

Kovacs is terribly out of position and will be blocked off by the H-back. Moeaki gets a good block from his WR on Warren. The linebackers chase him helplessly, and Woolfolk is hauling to catch up, but doesn't get there. Once again, Moeaki walks into the endzone untouched. The film:

What did we learn from all of this? Well, nothing really. Our linebackers are bad in coverage and have trouble reading plays. Kovacs is similarly deficient and has clearly been instructed/coached into being a run stuffer. That's his number one priority. Williams similarly has trouble diagnosing plays. This is a teaching point for the team and something they'll certainly go over in film sessions. It's disappointing that these huge mistakes (that reek of 2008) had to come in such a winable game.


Emery said...

I can't wait for the Moeaki tag to really explode over the next few years.

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