Monday, October 26, 2009

GBMW: Coach's Corner -- Penn State Perspective

GBMW: Coach's Corner -- Penn State Perspective

Here are some thoughts about the aftermath of the Penn State game.

1) Michigan must eliminate all the unforced errors. Such games can happen to a good team once every year or two, but not game after game after game.

• Reduce/eliminate the turnovers.

• Fix the alignment issues, how many five men in the backfield penalties have been called?

• Stop the snap issue; the safety off the poor snap and the quick Penn State touchdown that followed basically took Michigan out of the game.

• Don't get us started on all the dropped passes. Or a better phrase may be “let me count the ways.”

2) The Penn State game is a perfect example of why we at GBMW prefer to build a team around a top defense and special teams. Through defense and special teams, Penn State controlled the game’s tempo, field position, and created turnovers. In our opinion the factors cited above were three of the four biggest reasons Michigan lost the game.

3) Michigan has to get better at the line of scrimmage. This is the third Big Ten game where Michigan has lost the battle at the line of scrimmage and as a direct result lost the game.

4) Now that Forcier and the offense are on film, teams are creating and implementing effective ways to defend him. These strategies include staying in the assigned rushing lane, keeping the defensive ends wide to not let Tate out of the pocket, and assigning a spy with a linebacker to stop him from scrambling for first downs. In the pocket Tate has not been as effective as when scrambling.

5) Michigan 's return game has to improve.


1) Michigan 's lack of athletic ability upfront is showing. We all love these guys for their work ethic and effort, but collectively this group is just a perfect fit for zone scheme blocking in our opinion.

2) Michigan dropped way too many passes, but some of the passing game malfunction was on Forcier. When a quarterback throws the seam, sometimes called vertical access, he must throw in front of the safety and the slot, #2 receiver. Some of the drops Forcier threw were too close to a safety and slightly behind the receiver.

3) Michigan has to stretch the field vertically, the safeties are getting tighter and heading downhill in hurry.

4) Michigan did not do a good job of blocking at the second-level; the Penn State linebackers had thirty tackles or so, five tackles for loss, and three sacks.

5) The offense cannot keep being in negative situations, five penalties, ten plays for a loss, and five sacks make it tough on any offense to succeed. This is not a 2nd and 12 or a third and ten offense 9refer back to last year’s production in situations like this.


1) Michigan has to get bigger and stronger upfront, teams are able to get to and block Michigan at the second level. Bigger, stronger defensive linemen, who can penetrate and hold the point of attack, would make a huge difference.

2) The team is giving up too many big/long plays. The Michigan safeties are not quick or athletic enough to play in, and make tackles in, space.

3) Michigan’s defensive backs do not get off blocks very well. This makes playing press coverage very difficult. I saw a few times where even D. Warren has been blocked and even driven fifteen yards downfield. How many times was Penn State in a second and short and all that was needed was just having Clark stand up and hit the split end with a quick pass?

4) The third down defense needs to improve. Teams are converting third downs at a 34% clip, which is too high, but against Iowa and Michigan State the conversion rate was 44%.

5 Michigan has to figure out a way to defend big/good tight ends. Quarless, Molecki, Gant, and Rudolph all put a hurt on Michigan. This cannot continue if Michigan is going to finish strong this year.

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Written by CoachBt


Anonymous said...

We did quite well against Iowa up front, but if you consider a "300 yard" rushing day as the norm..then yes, we failed against Iowa, but not sure if that's a good metric to use to analyze a team's performance.

When we shunned the zone read and went to straight ahead runs we were good, we were able to gash the middle of their D, its just that RR and co get too f%^&ing cute for their own good.

Agree about Forcier, the opposing D just have to some guys in coverage and hold him in the pocket, he will either scramble into a sack or throw a piss poor pass into coverage. Do we have the QB coaches to fix this?? Have no idea if Rod Smith is good, Lefty would have but these kinda issues can only be fixed by spending time on film and practice in the offseason.

One way to fix is to spruce up the passing game, we do have some talent at receiving (backs, WR and TE) so we can pose some challenge if we are creative, will the coaches comply?? Hope they do.

Vinny in A2 said...

While CoachBt is right, the problem is none of the mentioned issues will be resolved. How do you resolve basic fundamentals that aren't being executed? The team is horrible and just can not execute on a regular basis. Sure, a blind squirrel will find a nut once in a while, but this team will never match how great they practice in a real life game scenario. And it's scary how teams now know how to contain Tate. 6-6 is looking really good right now.

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