He should be reading Shazier, #10, and he makes the right read. Omameh screwed up by blocking the guy the play options off.Michigan used the same zone read play a number of times throughout the game, but interestingly, the pulling lineman (in the play below Michael Schofield) appeared to have the same problem identifying who he was supposed to block. This time, Denard could not Denard the unblocked defender and Michigan lost what could have been another huge gain.
Michigan comes out in a three-wide set with twins to Denard's right, and Kevin Koger lined up as an H-back. Fitz Toussaint is in the backfield with Denard. Ohio
As the ball is snapped, right tackle Mark Huyge leaves the strongside defensive end unblocked and releases to the second level. Koger is responsible for blocking the strongisde end. Schofield begins to pull across the formation. The rest of the defensive line down blocks.
At the mesh point, Denard is reading the playside linebacker (circled in red). Schofield is pulling across the formation and should ignore the playside linebacker and head upfield to block the Buckeye safety...
...but he doesn't, instead blocking the linebacker that Denard was optioning off of. The Buckeye safety (circled in red) who Schofield was supposed to block is now standing between Denard and Awesome.
Denard sees this and tries to cut outside.
He is unsuccessful.
Ten-man football etc etc. If Schofield blocks the proper defender here, Denard is running 91 yards for a touchdown. Instead, he's tackled for a two-yard gain. For me, this isn't quite as frustrating as when Michigan fails to run from under center. This seems like a repetition issue. Neither Omameh or Schofield have practiced this blocking scheme as much as they probably should, and pulling across the formation and finding the right defender to block is probably one of those things that just takes getting used to.
That said ARGHHH. Block the right guy. I wonder what goes through Denard's mind during a play like this. "Yes, yes, got'em. Remember, take a knee. Troll Tebow. Chest bump. Hoke Point." Tackled. If Al Borges starts integrating this play into the offense next year and the offensive line gets their blocking assignments in order, this will be a fierce rushing attack, possibly on par with the 2010 Rodriguez-led team. This kind of play is both encouraging and discouraging. I'll take it.
UPDATE. MGoBlog has video of this play that clarifies a question in the comments about whether or not Denard made the right read (he did).