After a poor 2009 season blocking for Tate Forcier, Mark Huyge proved himself a decent-to-good right tackle last year en route to Michigan's best offense in over a decade. Unfortunately, 2011 hasn't been quite as kind. Against MSU, Huyge opened SitB for suffering Spartan defensive ends. And against Iowa, he was responsible for the death of a play that was setup to go a long, long way.
He will motion across the formation and line up directly behind Mark Huyge:
This is a basic power play. On the snap, Michael Schofield begins to pull across the formation as the lead blocker. Huyge and David Molk down block. Patrick Omameh needs to get to the second level to seal Iowa's MLB. Koger is responsible to kick out the playside Iowa linebacker. They're creating a hole in the C gap (to the right of the right tackle, Huyge) for Schofield and Fitz Toussaint to run through.
Schofield continues to pull...
As Denard hands the ball off, Huyge is being thrown to the ground. So instead of creating a hole in the C gap for Schofield to run through, Iowa now has, essentially, an unblocked linebacker and defensive end for him to deal with.
Huyge continues to fall. Toussaint follows Schofield.
Since Huyge has missed his block, Toussaint is forced to cut back up the field into the help defense.
A few things:
Huyge has to hold this block. If he does, this play is set up to go a long way. If this play is blocked correctly, the only things between Toussaint and the endzone are two defenders and two blockers. Instead, the hole collapses and Toussaint is forced to cut back into the middle of the field and into the strength of Iowa's defense. Problems like these are why Michigan can't run the I formation this year.
This is not Mike DeBord's power running. Much harumphing has been done about the I formation, but pre-snap shifts like this act as a way to create mismatches to the playside. With Michigan's receivers blocking downfield and Schofield pulling across the formation, Michigan had seven blockers on the playside of the field where Iowa only had six defenders. The problem here is that Huyge doesn't hold his block, not the play design, which is mostly brilliant.
I think there's a misconception that I formation running is strictly helmet-on-helmet brute strength. In actuality, this is far more indicative of the theories used in power running: create mismatches at the point of attack and expect your blockers to do their job. (As a sidenote, the Philadelphia Eagles have the best running schemes in the NFL, even without Michael Vick. Watch how they use H-backs and shift players pre-snap to create these mismatches.)