Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ohio formation notes

Outside of the inverted veer that Michigan ran semi-successfully against Ohio State, there wasn't a whole ton to take note of schematically. There were a few alignments that made me furious or at least made me question what the coaching staff was doing. First up:

Screen passes
I think this is it. This is the last time I complain about Michigan's lack of receiver screens. But this almost made my head explode:

Michigan actually would throw one of their play action, throwback screens on this play, but the play action seems like a waste of time. Count the defenders: you can see all 11 of Ohio State's and yet only two of them are even in the vicinity of Michigan's three stacked receivers. If a defense aligns like this, Denard should take one step from under center and throw it to the back receiver. Instead, the team fakes the play action and Gallon takes a step toward the line of scrimmage before fading back to catch the pass.

I don't know, man. Borges has done basically everything right this year save ignoring screen passes. There's almost no way that he will implement these passes in the bowl game or next year, but that doesn't mean I won't be infuriated when Michigan doesn't throw it. Consider this my final comment on this though.

Defensive line alignment
I mentioned this earlier in the year with regard to the defense's okie package, but Michigan seemed to be tipping its hand with the alignment of its defensive linemen:
Another thing to note is the pre-snap alignment of Ryan, who is lined up close to a yard behind the other defensive linemen:
Though I'm not positive, I think Ryan or Roh has done this before. It's something to watch going forward. If the defensive ends continue lining up too far from the line of scrimmage on the zone drops, it will tip off the blitz and coverage to opposing QBs. It didn't here, and I'm not sure if it's noticeable enough in real time, but it looks to me like it is. Ryan's helmet is a full yard off the line of scrimmage. If opposing linemen start picking up on this pre-snap, they can tip off the quarterbacks to a likely zone blitz. It will also help them in pass protection.
Michigan's defensive linemen have continued to line up like this even when they're not dropping off into coverage:

Look at how much closer to the ball Mike Martin is than all of the other defensive linemen. I'm at the point where I just don't understand this. It's too egregious and frequent to just be a mistake, but I don't understand the rationale for lining up this far from the line of scrimmage. It looks like it might give the linemen a better angle to slant into the play, but it doesn't seem like that's what's actually happening here. If anyone has any idea why the defensive linemen who line up this far from the LOS, other than They Weren't Supposed To, let me know.


Post a Comment