Michigan Daily Sports Editor Kyle O’Neill is not a collegiate
athlete, nor is he a collegiate coach. But he was a starting wide
receiver for his winless team at Garber High School, was third in
Bay County in receptions his senior year and claims to know
something about the game of football. So each game, we’ll let him
and his 5-foot-10, 158-pound frame break down why Michigan either
succeeded or failed.

Janna Hutz

3 Observations

1. Michigan’s guards might be the fastest they’ve ever been.
Their speed and ability to help double-team the nose tackle with
center Dave Pearson, and then break off to the linebacker, is one
of the overlooked things as to why Michigan is running the ball so
well.

2. Braylon Edwards caught two consecutive out routes at the end
of the first half. This is encouraging, given his recent struggles
with catching short routes. Until Edwards can make these catches,
there is no point to try and throw deep to him. Safeties will be
all over him deep (as Houston’s were) until he can be a short-range
threat.

3. Usage of Marlin Jackson couldn’t have been much better on
Saturday. Playing much as a nickle back against Houston’s large
passing attack, Jackson – officially a safety – was freed to play
man-to-man or underneath in zone coverage. Having him hidden with
linebackers in zone coverage will probably create more
opportunities for Jackson on mid-range (five to eight yards) third
down situations.

Key play

Explanation: As simple as it looks, Michigan was utilizing this
type of pulling-guard running all game. As seen on this Chris Perry
eight-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, both right guard
Matt Lentz and center Dave Pearson pull through the hole that was
started with a clearout by the tight end and right tackle. This was
almost the same play that was called for David Underwood’s
five-yard touchdown in the second quarter. The only difference was
that Lentz and fullback Kevin Dudley led through the hole and
Pearson stayed at home to block.

Importance: Though it is not as flashy as a key play should be,
it emphasizes how dominant Michigan’s offensive line has been. No
gimmicky plays have been needed thus far, because the line has been
doing the simple things so well. In an age where the long ball has
become king, Michigan is working its offense in a way that would
make Bo proud. Fans wanting the bombs to Braylon Edwards should be
happy that Michigan can run these basic plays better than any other
team thus far in the nation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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