So, I know all 2 of you who were expecting an UFR of the Florida game are looking at that post title and thinking, "Dude."
This will be analogous to expecting an X-Box for Christmas, only to receive a box of Wheaties. Due to technical issues (torrent downloading? help? any help in the comments is appreciated), I wasn't able to do the UF UFR this weekend. Additionally, I thought I had it in my DVR, but someone unceremoniously deleted it. Dude, indeed. ANYWAY.
So we're playing Wisconsin and all this year, as we usually do, and they are supposed to be pretty good. So I decided to watch the Champs Sports Bowl again (#havenolife) to see why that is. Just to clear up some of the abbreviations that appear later on in the charting: W=Wide, B=Back (i.e., Runningback), sb=set back.
|Down and Distance||Field Position||Formation||Play Description|
|1st & 10||Wisc. 22||Ace 3-Wide||Tolzien hands off to Clay after an end around fake; there's a lot of space on the outside, and Clay is brought down after seemingly an eternity…gain of 6. Note: Starting line-ups intro indicates the UW line consists of 2 Fr. At the guard positions, a Soph. at RT, and Juniors at LT and C. Also, only one senior skill player (Graham). The upshot: they should be even better this year.|
|2nd &4||W 28||I-formation||Clay rumbles for the first.|
|1st & 10||W 32||I-form.||Clay runs for 3; Nessler talks about how Clay isn't fumble-prone (HMM FORESHADOWING?); Blackledge talks about how "wide" Clay is and Nessler assents with an "Oh man."|
|2nd & 7||W 35||Ace||First pass; Graham on a short pass in the middle for 5. And thus begins TEageddon.|
|3rd & 2||W 40||Jumbo||Run right and Clay is hit but keeps the legs moving nicely and picks up the first.|
|1st & 10||W 43||4-wide||Another fake end around; Clay for a few.|
|2nd & 6||W 47||2 Wide||TE in motion; Clay gets overwhelmed in the backfield for a loss; a well-timed blitz on Miami's part blows this play up.|
|3rd & 11||W 43||Shotgun 2-Backs 3-Wide||It is mentioned that Wisconsin is only 18% in 3rd and long situations this season; Tolzien is then sacked after finding no one after a few long seconds. PUNT.|
|1st & 10||Miami 41||I-form., 2 WR stacked close to line||Kendricks (#84) goes in motion; PA, pump fake by Tolzien, hits a streaking Kendricks down the left sideline for a nice gain for 37, which works out to about a 389 yard gain for any team not named Wisconsin.|
|1st & Goal||M 4||Goalline||Kendricks in motion; comes back around to lead for Clay through the left side; only goes for 1…THIS TIME.|
|2ND & G||M 3||Goalline||Nessler mentions Miami only having given up 2 rushing touchdowns in their last 7 games (!); 3 TE's on the field; Kendricks goes in motion again, leading for Clay on the left again at the snap; he seals the edge perfectly and Clay reaches the corner of the endzone. Touchdown, Wisconsin 7, Miami 7.|
|1st & 10||W 35||Single back, 1 Wide||Clay goes for 5; the initial fumble call is reversed; Clay goes out for Montee Ball|
|2nd & 5||W 40||I-form. 1-Wide||#84 in motion; seals edge, Balls goes for 5 and the first|
|1st & 10||W 45||I-form. 1-W||TE in motion; PA, Tolzien, hits #84 for a really nice gain; Miami linebackers completely mesmerized by the run fake|
|1st & 10||M 36||1-Back 2-Wide||Toon in motion; PA deep to Toon but he catches it slightly out of bounds; Tolzien hit hard|
|2nd & 10||M 36||Ace||Ball cuts it back inside for 5|
|3rd & 5||M 31||3-Wide, Graham motions to slot||Tol. Drops back to pass; pass deflected and picked off at the line (LOLNAVARRE'D). TURNOVER.|
|1st & 10||W 36||4W, Trips Left||Tol. Checks at the line; all for naught, as he's hurried and forced to throw it away.|
|2nd & 10||W 36||Ace||Clay Buffalo Stampedes his way for a long gainer; good blocking by #77 and some shoddy tackling; Clay already has 86 yards and it's not even halftime.|
|1st & 10||M 12||I-form 1W, TE set back at the line||Timeout Miami.|
|1st & 10||M 12||Wisconsin comes out in the same formation.||Fake to Ball, end-around to #84 stuffed by Miami for a loss of 4. Miami speed blah blah blah+end-around with a TE=TFL.|
|2nd & 14||M 16||Ace||Gilreath in motion, fake end-around to him; sneaky TE screen up middle to Graham goes for close to a first.|
|3rd & 1||M 4||Goal aka "The Beef Package"||Run to Clay; same play as first TD; #84 in motion, seals edge and Clay runs it in untouched; TOUCHDOWN, Wisconsin 14, Miami 7.|
|1st & 10||W 18||2W Stack, 2 TE on left side of the line next to LT||#68 pulls and Ball picks his way for 3|
|2nd & 7||W 21||2W, TE set back on left side of the line||#84 in motion; settles on line next to LT; #1 in motion; PA to Toon for nice intermediate gain of 19.|
|1st & 10||M 36||2W on each side stacked, 1B||Tol. Drops back and fires to Graham down the middle but it falls incomplete.|
|2nd & 10||M 36||Same form. except Graham is set back on left instead of stacked||#84 leads again and Ball rumbles for a first; Flagàholding. Miami players look visibly affected by the cold…it is 49 degrees.|
|2nd & 16||M 41||Gun 1B 3W||ESPN shows a Miami fan yawning; clearly the Wisconsin offense is doing its job. Tol. Moves right and tosses shuffle pass to Ball for 6.|
|3rd & 10||M 35||Gun 2B, 3W (TE in slot)||Tolzien hits #84 while being hit; #84 makes a great grab on a low pass for a first.|
|1st & 10||M 23||I-form 2W||#84 in motion; PA, hits Clay for 5 up the middle|
|2nd & 5||M 18||Ace||Graham in motion; another run blitz blows up the play and Ball gets dropped for -3. It happens.|
|3rd & 7||M 20||'Gun 1B 4W||Right slot in motion; Tolzien pass to Gilreath broken up nicely; incomplete. FIELD GOAL GOOD w/ 0:12 left in the half; Wisc. 17, Miami 7.|
|1st & 10||W 26||Ace, TE set back||End-around to Gilreath only picks up 1.|
|2nd & 9||W 27||Ace||Clay only picks up 2 after frantic Tolzien pre-snap gesticulating; Clay hobbles off to the sideline.|
|3rd & 7||W 29||4W Trips right||Tolzien again gets rid of it at the last second after the RT Oglesby gets completely owned by the pass rush; hits #84 for nice first.|
|1st & 10||W 40||I-form 2W||#84 in motion; Ball for 2.|
|2nd & 7||W 42||Ace||Gilreath in motion; fake end-around to Gilreath, Ball dropped for loss of 1 (Miami's #35 beats Carimi).|
|3rd & 8||W 43||Gun 1B 4W||Graham in motion and back; FALSE START on #67. Not a good drive for him.|
|3rd & 13||W 37||'Gun 1B 3W||TE screen to Graham only nets a few; PUNT.|
|1st & 10||W 27||I-form 1W TE set back||Ball hits left side for 5|
|2nd & 5||W 32||2W TE set back||Graham in motion, settles on line; Gilreath in motion; fake end-around pitch back to Ball in space for gain of 23; excellent execution by Carimi and the LG.|
|1st & 10||M 45||1W TE sb||Ball cuts and puts head down for 2.|
|2nd & 8||M 42||2W TE sb||#84 in motion; PA, flips to Toon for 6.|
|3rd & 2||M 36||Gun 1B 3W TE sb||#89 in motion; PA, Tolzien steps up and fires incomplete. PUNT. Telecast moves ahead in the action to 11:08 left in the 4th.|
|3rd & 3||W 40||Ace TE sb||#6 in motion; PA bootleg; Tolzien pressured and throws parabolic arm punt to a wide open Gilreath; Procedure penalty on Kendricks brings it back.|
|3rd & 8||W 35||2W TE sb RB offset||84 in motion; Tolzien has all day and hits Graham in center of field for 23 (ah, shades of the Michigan game).|
|1st & 10||M 43||I-form 1W 2TE on right side of line||84 in motion; standard run goes for maybe 1.|
|2nd & 10||M 43||Ace||Tolzien overshoots Toon deep down the right sideline.|
|3rd & 10||M 43||Gun 1B 3W||Tolzien rolls left then shuffle passes to Ball for 8. PUNT.|
|1st & 10||M 34||I-form 1W TE sb||After a Jacory Harris fumble; 84 in motion; Clay with a strong run for 7.|
|2nd & 3||M 27||I-form 1W TE sb||84 in motion; Clay gets the first.|
|1st & 10||M 20||I-form. 1W TE sb||84 in motion; Clay drives away for 4.|
|2nd & 6||M 16||Same||Clay for 2.|
|3rd & 4||M 14||Same||84 in motion; Miami with the heavy run blitz; PA bootleg and Tolzien decides to take the money and run; picks up 2. FIELD GOAL GOOD, Wisc. 20, Miami 7.|
Tolzien-19/26, 260 yards, O TD 1 INT
Clay-22 carries, 121 yards, 2 touchdowns (Ball added
Kendricks-7 rec., 128 yards
Graham-6 rec. 77 yards
TOP- 39:15 (!)
Don't laugh, but yawning Miami fan aside, this was a fun watch in a number of ways. For one, it was nice to see someone other than Michigan have their secondary eviscerated by an endless wave of cyborg tight ends. Also, Wisconsin's offense was simple, yet effective, and as "old school" football becomes somewhat of a relic in the college football landscape, Wisconsin's offense will continue to become increasingly unique.
While it's possible that nothing in this post tells you anything new about Wisconsin; here are some takeaways:
1) Wisconsin uses their TE's basically as receivers. Toon is a decent target, and even he was overshadowed by Graham and Kendricks. I don't know what secret underground lair Wisconsin creates these pass-catching TE's in but either way they're dangerous and definitely a central part of the offense.
2) I'd have to look back at the Michigan game to see if this is consistently the case, but Wisconsin loves to put their TE's and WR's in motion. I didn't count, but if I did, I would guess that about 75% of Wisconsin's plays involved some sort of pre-snap movement. Then again, it could have just been the gameplan specifically tailored for Miami. In this game, it was a safe bet that the man in motion would be getting the ball (this occurred with all 3 primary targets at various points in the game...Kendricks, Graham and Toon)
3) Wisconsin's strong tradition of FAT BUT GOOD tailbacks continues, manifested in the forms of John Clay and Montee Ball. As detailed in the charts, Miami had been defending the run particularly well. While UW only averaged 4 yards per carry, it was an efficient performance; most importantly, they were able to punch it in when they got close to the endzone. Miami was a respectable 31st nationally in rushing defense, 3 spots ahead of Iowa and their vaunted defense, and 7 behind Michigan State (uh?).
4) Which brings me to my next point: Wisconsin loved to use the TE in motion to block when they got close to the endzone. On both of Clay's rushing touchdowns, Kendricks went in motion and kicked out the playside end/LB to clear the way masterfully. So, unlike Travis Beckum, who was more of the Greg Olsen mold (i.e., "I can't block"), Kendricks can in fact block, and well, as evidenced by his play in this game against a Miami team that always has its share of former 4 and 5-star players on defense.
Conclusion: This may have been a pointless exercise, but, you know...oh well. Wisconsin brings back everybody on offense except for Graham, I believe, including the entire OL. That is always a good thing. Tolzien, while unspectacular, is efficient in the traditional UW quarterbacking fashion. Stocco circa 2006 is probably a reasonable expectation to reach for Tolzien this year, IME (they might not necessarily only lose 1 game in the regular season like Stocco's squad did, but still). What does this mean for us?
It is pretty obvious what needs to be done for Michigan to succeed in stopping Wisconsin's attack. IME, it can be done with our current personnel, but a lot needs to happen before now and gameday. Unlike many of the other attacks Michigan will face, this one is the epitome of brute force, with a smattering of strategic first down passing/play action. In short, like any good defense, Michigan must be strong up the middle. Campbell, Ezeh, and Cam Gordon/Kovacs need to come up big, starting of course with Big Will.
Eat up big man (but stay away from that 3 a.m. Bell's Pizza, por favor)...FAT RB'S, coming to ur base this fall.