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Old September 10th, 2017, 08:07 AM   #1
Jeff Buchanan
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Arrow Air Force @ Michigan, Noon, Saturday, 9/16, BTN, Stream BTN2Go

This should be interesting given yesterdays shit show v. the Bearcats.
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Old September 10th, 2017, 08:24 AM   #2
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Good tune up for the offense... youngins need reps...Speight needs to get it together.
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Old September 10th, 2017, 09:07 AM   #3
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This game will be about a two score win and it won't be fun to watch. I predict 27-13.

Playing a competent triple option team fucking sucks.
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Old September 10th, 2017, 09:45 AM   #4
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Yep not a team to take lightly, they lost a lot of players to graduation but they are very competent. When State played them two years ago, they were surprisingly dirty.
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Old September 10th, 2017, 10:04 AM   #5
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Air Force had a bye week to prepare. Can we have two not fun to watch games in a row... Possible.
AF defense should be much worse than Cinci.
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Old September 10th, 2017, 03:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannibal View Post
This game will be about a two score win and it won't be fun to watch. I predict 27-13.

Playing a competent triple option team fucking sucks.
Yes it does. And this is more true when the triple option team your facing has a week off to prepare (see above).

I thought Cincinnati did a very good job of working Don Brown's 3-3-5 with screens, especially the tunnel screens. They took advantage of press-man coverage on several deep balls with M showing decent coverage but in man, it's been pointed out to us that INTs and PBUs are hard. It takes experience to be a threat in this regard on an opponent's long ball. The DBs are not there yet. M's just not seen a really decent QB yet that makes those throws on the regular ..... and M won't see one next week. Note that both INTs for M yesterday occurred when M was in 2-hi zone coverage.

While I think Brown's D v. AF will still play out of a base 3-3-5 (don't quibble about all his variations - it's still 3 down line men with their hand on the ground), You cannot over penetrate v. the triple option; that's going to require some changes to Brown's cannon balls in the gaps D. Much more gap or position discipline is required to contain the triple option.

You have to win first down. The 3-3-5 easily transitions to a 5-2 front. We've already seen this v. UF and Cinnci. You take away the inside option with big NTs and M has some. M has to win this point of attack and I think they can. Given that, the offense is now a double option and infinitely easier to defend.

There's some talk that McCray is playing hurt and his side-line to sideline speed has been compromised. There's been several play breakdowns I've read that described how he got beat on these screens. Devin Gil played a few snaps while McCray reportedly got hydrated v. UF. I don't think now that's what happened. A healthy LB'ing core, schooled well on the triple option, is key to containing AF's version of it. A little worried there as well as the risk to the players trying to contain that type of offense with the chop or cut blocking (the legal and illegal kind; you can read up on the confusing NCAA rules on your own) that takes place.

Despite the light's out performances of the D v. M's first two opponents, this is a young and inexperienced defense. Players can't panic. AF will get its yards. If you listened to JH's post game presser after the Cincinnati game, sage words were said about this. He made a great case for young players getting somewhat freaked out by, yep, the big house and 110K fans. Read it to get a feel for how teams deal or don't deal with emotions.

If the first two games are an indicator, M will play good D v. AF. STs and offense are another matter. Penalties and drive killing derfs from the STs in the return or punting game, QB and the OL, backs missing opportunities, the potential for fumbles/turnovers are all there. Sucks but it's a reality that JH and his staff have to deal with.

That reality is going to limit the offense and Harbaugh will lean heavily and play to his D. That means a low risk offense and a low scoring game. Something like 27-13 is what I'm feeling.

Something to make me look stupid: Speight is flawless, makes the throws on first downs that JH needs to sustain his offense, hits a couple of long balls for TDs and the OL is opening holes in AFs defensive front that all three backs truck right through..
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Old September 10th, 2017, 08:44 PM   #7
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Forget about style points. Just get out with a win. It will be boring as hell as I suspect AF will hold the ball for 35 plus min. and UM will pull away in the fourth with some passing plays. AF will stop their running game for the most part. I hate playing these niche option teams. There's no win in it at all, except the final score.
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Old September 10th, 2017, 09:20 PM   #8
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Not that I disagree -- they are a pain in the ass. But that's a fantastic Yogi Berra line there: "There's no win in it at all, except the final score."
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Old September 10th, 2017, 09:43 PM   #9
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When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
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Old September 10th, 2017, 09:56 PM   #10
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Early (-24)
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Old September 11th, 2017, 08:12 AM   #11
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I'll be very pleased if we come close to covering that.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 12:10 PM   #12
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I love these write ups (Neck Sharpies). This one has really nothing to do with AF except in one sense and I'll get to that.

What this one is about is the Tunnel Screen run very effectively by Cinci against Don Browns hyper-aggressive defenses. The point of these Tunnel Screens (the opposite of a Bubble Screen) is to get a receiver and his blockers into the area just barely past the LOS. Seth does a great job of explaining why this works against very aggressive defenses like M's.

http://mgoblog.com/content/neck-shar...reen-doom#more
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Old September 13th, 2017, 12:20 PM   #13
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....... you'll see a couple of references in Seth's piece to how Brown reacted to the effective Tunnel Screens; he didn't and most likely purposefully saying, so, what if that's the only play in their play-book they can run for a couple of yards, I'll take it. That approach mostly worked when you look at the game stats. I think Brown was completely happy with harassing Cincy's QB and not allowing him to make big plays down field and get a rhythm going.

So, what about AF facing Don Brown and his cannon balls? Seth points out that the best way to beat the Tunnel Screen is to NOT BE AGGRESSIVE. He also notes that running your 3-3-5 as a 4-2-5, less aggressively is the way to go.

If you watch the video in this article you can see there are a few, very few, times where there is sort-of a 4-2-5 concept being run. Brown likes to disguise where the 4th (or 5th as the case might be) rusher is going to come from within the LBs, S and even the corners. When these guys don't come, the net result is a 4-2-5 and it's usually a 2-hi, zone defense on the back end.

This is what we will probably see more off v. AF. The 4-2-5. Regardless, it's one of things I'll be watching for in one form or another from the diabolical Brown.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 12:42 PM   #14
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From what I can see, Don Brown never played against Georgia Tech when he was the DC at Boston College, so I don't know what he does agauinst the triple option or what his track record is there. The triple option seems like the ultimate offense that begs for a read-and-react approach on defense.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 01:14 PM   #15
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I thought Cincy's OL was getting too far downfield, they were always less than 3-yards going by the handful of images at MGoBlog...

That tunnel screen was more than half their offense.
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Old September 14th, 2017, 07:56 AM   #16
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On doing some reading about AF's offense, my conclusion is this isn't going to be an easy win. Not posted yet but I'm picking AF ATS. I don't think M is going to win this game by 24 points. The score spread is more likely to be in the 10-17 range ...... and that is only if Mike McCray plays as well as he needs to play. Much closer if he doesn't.

For the Mike, defending the flexbone/triple option isn't a sideline to sideline speed challenge, a weakness of his. It's diagnosing the play pre-snap, setting the defense, then, immediately post snap, reading the keys and getting inot the apporpriate gap. I think he is actually going to be good at this. At least that's my hope. If he's not, you'll see way more 5-6y plays through his gap responsibilities than you'll want to see.

If the S's bust on run coverage (not as likely I am also hoping) those 6y gains will turn into big chunk plays.

Another thing Don Brown absolutely has to do is make sure the boundries are defended and that is the responsibility of the two LBs playing outside. I actually see this as a strength of M's D. These guys are responsible for being disciplined and not over-committing on the play (e.g., QB mid-line run, FB dive through the B gap), and watching for the play going outside either with the ball carrier looking for a crease as the play develops off of his play-side tackle or the pitchman getting the ball from the QB and finding a huge, undefended space to run into toward the field boundary.

There's some passing stuff I'll get to later but the key to keeping AF in check is properly defending the run game. Brown, while he was at BC, worked a lot on defending the flexbone so, his 3-3-5 stack is going to be the dominant base D that we'll see. The trick for him is having his players prepared for the Triple Option.
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Old September 14th, 2017, 09:39 AM   #17
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Air Force's love of 12 play, 50 yard drives will shorten the game and double the effect of any mistakes that the Michigan offense makes. A fumbled snap, a drive killing holding penalty, a false start on 3rd and 1, a bad throw in to double coverage -- against Cincinnati we got lots of opportunities to recover from those, but we won't against Air Force. That is, unless, this ends up being an off year for their offense and they just aren't that good.
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Old September 14th, 2017, 01:09 PM   #18
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^

Even good defenses can struggle to defend the triple-option. Match-ups & talent aren't as important as sticking to your assignment. M 'practiced' defending it in fall practice but that is nothing like facing a true triple option offense.
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Old September 14th, 2017, 01:25 PM   #19
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Old September 14th, 2017, 03:41 PM   #20
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..... need to correct something I said above. McCray is NOT the MIKE. He was in Hoke's 4-3 but not in Don Brown's 3-3-5 stack.

The guy to watch who has to set the defense pre-snap is Devon Bush. The WILL is Mike McCray and the SAM is Noah Furbush.

There's great article at mgoblog (by Seth) that explains fully what Don Brown's version of the 3-3-5 Stack is. I learned something from that about what a "Stack" is ...... It simply means that you use different personnel in terms of size and skills on the DL based on the type of offense your facing.

Typically, you'll get planet sized players (e.g., Mone) on the DL against power teams (e.g., Wisky, MSU) and what will be more likely to happen is that the 3-3-5 morphs into a 4-3 front which Brown's 3-3-5 stack can do.
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