Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Shucking Schofield pt. 2

Shucking Schofield pt. 1

Earlier, we saw Michael Schofield unable to hold up a block against Alabama's weakside defensive end on a Thomas Rawls run. The play ended as you might expect (sort of; it technically ended as a holding penalty): Rawls was pushed into the backfield and taken down by Bama's weakside linebacker. On this play, Schofield (right tackle; lineman at the bottom of the screen on this play) just fails to make contact with the defensive end, allowing him a clear path into the backfield.

Michigan is lined up in an I-formation, two-WR set with Vincent Smith and Stephen Hopkins in the backfield. Michigan will run a traditional power-I run to the strongside of the field (top of the screen). Alabama is in its traditional 3-4 defense.

As the ball is snapped, Denard steps away form center and Patrick Omameh (#65) pulls behind him. Schofield is charged with filling the hole that Omameh just vacated and not allowing Alabama's defensive end (#49) to get inside.

You can see Schofield will not accomplish this task.

Schofield (#75) doesn't even make contact with the defensive end until he's two steps behind the line of scrimmage. Denard hasn't even handed the ball off to Vincent Smith yet, who is looking to follow Omameh and Hopkins upfield.

When Smith finally does get the ball, he has to juke immediately because the Alabama WDE is already in his face. You can see the weakside linebacker (#42) flowing downhill as well, but if this were blocked correctly, that linebacker wouldn't be much of a factor until a few yards downfield.

Schofield, who never got square to his man, is now chasing Bama's defensive end who is wrapping up Smith in the backfield. Omameh and Hopkins are both in good position to block downfield and allow Smith to get to the edge of the line for a good gain.

Because Smith is not superhuman, the play ends with Schofield (probably) apologizing to Smith as he picks him up off the ground.


So those are two of the more egregious examples from the game, but they paint an unflattering picture of Schofield's run blocking capabilities. As I mentioned earlier, moving to the tackle position after playing guard last year is a big change, and this was the worst possible matchup to try out a new tackle. But keep an eye on whether or not he can adequately get to defensive ends and hold up blocks on runs to his side of the field. If this team becomes left-handed, that's just one more limitation that the offense has that perceptive defensive coordinators will attack.


Bob Dively said...

Yeah, that play... ouch. I was thinking that it would be either Mealer (who I thought would be a guard) or Omameh who'd have the most difficulty against the Alabama big boys, but Schofield really struggled. When Lewan went out late and Schofield slid over to RT, he completely whiffed on his first play when a backup freshman DE put a swim move on him and sacked Denard. Not that it mattered because Burzynski was also beat by a DT stunt.

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