As I mentioned yesterday, Michigan has the benefit of playing a team with a near identical offensive identity to one they've already played. Unfortunately, that team was Illinois who put up 65 points on the Wolverines defense. Both offenses have a mass of formations, but it seems like the one they use most frequently is this:
During the Illinois game, Michigan was pretty blitz happy. Cam Gordon spent a lot of time blitzing off the edge, and Michigan generally brought more pressure than they have against any other opponent. Obviously, it didn't end so well. It's a high variance defense that probably causes more problems than solutions against option teams like Illinois and Mississippi State. This play in particular went for a lot of yards.
What does it mean?
Against Illinois, Michigan spent a lot of time with four linebackers, whether it was in the 4-4 like this or the 3-4 we've seen occasionally through the year. I expect similar formations against Mississippi State, but whether or not they blitz as much as they did against Illinois is something we'll have to keep an eye on.
Regarding this play, you can probably expect a similar performance from Kovacs in the future. He's an established starter with a lot of playing time under his belt. This sort of mental mistake in the run game is something he's going to need to limit if Michigan is going to have any chance against the Bulldogs. For Vinopal, however, we may be able to expect smarter play in the future. This was either the first or second game that he played significant time, and his mistake was clearly the fault of inexperience. Whether or not he's actually learned from this game is yet to be seen, but I've been encouraged by his play this year and expect him to be better in the bowl game.
Michigan is going to see this formation and similar plays a lot (including a triple option play with an inside pitch option that the Bulldogs showed against Auburn that I'll discuss sometime, probably). In general, defending option offenses like this take a lot of discipline and knowing where your help defense is. If Michigan allows Mississippi State to break contain like they did against Illinois, it's difficult seeing them winning this game.