Anatomy of a Bad Short Yardage Play

Anatomy of a Bad Short Yardage Play


September 7, 2019

This is a quick-hitter because I’m a busy dude, but this is one area where Michigan is struggling. What is their identity in short yardage?

When any 5-man run scheme is involved, you’re outnumbered in the run game up front. Michigan can block 5 with the line and read another with the QB, but bringing a 7th guy into the box makes Michigan vulnerable to the SAM linebacker here bending off the edge unblocked. Unless Shea Patterson throws the ball quickly to the X receiver or gets it out to the trips side with a bubble or key screen, Michigan is going to struggle mightily to run the ball in this type of set against an aggressive defense.

A couple simple fixes with formations:

Sorry I don’t have time to explain more thoroughly. There are other things you can do (obviously), but I happened to have my play design software pulled up and threw these together.

13 comments

  1. Avatar
    Comments: 1447
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Sep 07, 2019 at 6:51 PM

    Much appreciated. I’m no longer a Harbaugh-defender. This team looks sloppy, poorly prepared, and the playcalling is right back to 2017, but this time with talent available

    How is BVS getting carries? How is he getting on the field? Nothing wrong with letting a RSFr sit & develop (he probably won’t), but Harbaugh just HAS TO play a fullback. Fumbled on his only carry, and blew his chance as a blocker. Shea’s turnovers should result in being sat for a possession, but why? It’s not like Dylan is allowed to pass the dang ball

    • Klctlc
      Comments: 69
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Klctlc
      Sep 07, 2019 at 7:33 PM

      agree. Very frustrating. Same here on Harbaugh, I realize we are a “good ” team. Made progress from when he got here. But something is off. Second half was worst coached game I have seen in awhile. He is hard to defend right now. Normally I would think two weeks to prepare would be helpful. I do not feel hopeful right now. He is gonna have to cover up for his DT’s against wisconsin. Good luck

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3215
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Sep 07, 2019 at 8:36 PM

      I’m not a fan of BVS getting carries, either, but…Michigan doesn’t have many options. With Evans kicked out and Wilson injured, the choices are Charbonnet, Turner, Haskins, VanSumeren, and walk-ons. Turner busted a pass protection, and Haskins busted one last week, along with the fact that he was so unimpressive at running back that they put him at linebacker for a while.

      The only two TRUE running backs (guys who were recruited to play RB and have only played RB) on the roster are Charbonnet and Turner. Haskins (LB), VanSumeren (FB), Mason (LB/DT), Wilson (S), etc. have all played other positions at Michigan.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 1447
        Joined: 1/19/2016
        je93
        Sep 07, 2019 at 9:22 PM

        Turner had three carries. Never threw it to him in the flats

        I think they could afford to give BVS carry to Turner

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5151
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Sep 08, 2019 at 7:39 PM

        Michigan lost Higdon, Evans, Samuels, and Walker within the last year or so. Then they lose Wilson and Turner to injury this year.

        And STILL RB looks strong. What other position would ever have this kind of attrition and come out looking so good?

        • Avatar
          Comments: 1447
          Joined: 1/19/2016
          je93
          Sep 08, 2019 at 11:06 PM

          Does it? We just ran ZC into a brick wall, 33 times. That’s not sustainable

          I think RB is one unlucky event from disaster

        • Thunder
          Comments: 3215
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Sep 09, 2019 at 8:19 AM

          LOL. We lost those guys and replaced them with a 5-star running back, who was virtually the only one to touch the ball in Saturday. That’s why it looks so good.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 5151
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Sep 09, 2019 at 9:01 AM

          I would prefer to see a rotation and more depth but that’s not the point. Look at all those guys lost – what other position could handle that body count and not be a disaster? None.

          “We got a 5-star” hasn’t been a solution at Michigan.

          We got a well prepared kid with a great head on his shoulders continues to be important.

          • Thunder
            Comments: 3215
            Joined: 7/13/2015
            Sep 09, 2019 at 9:42 AM

            LOL. It’s semantics. Part of the reason Charbonnet was a 5-star is because he’s such a well rounded back.

            Running back is kind of a disaster. The only reliable player is a true freshman. How sustainable is that? Charbonnet can’t handle being the only guy to take crunch-time snaps all season, being the runner AND pass protector AND option in the passing game.

            Cornerback lost a bunch of players and (so far) isn’t a disaster. They lost Long, Watson, Sims, and St-Juste, along with Keith Washington a couple years ago, who is now playing significant snaps at WVU.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 5151
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Sep 11, 2019 at 9:43 AM

            If Wilson and Turner are out for the year I agree.

            They aren’t and Michigan won a game by leaning on it’s OL and RB despite tons of talent at QB and WR.

            That’s no disaster.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 5151
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Sep 11, 2019 at 9:44 AM

            CB is 2 positions. 3 if you count nickel. RB is 1. If Thomas and Gray went down (the equivalent of Wilson and Turner) you’d see struggles at the position – not the team leaning in as much as possible on the position.

  2. Lanknows
    Comments: 5151
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Sep 08, 2019 at 12:18 PM

    The great irony is that Michigan finally has a mauling OL at least in theory and they change schemes.

    I think having a goaline package with DM at QB under center, Mason at FB, Collins out wide and both TEs seems like it would be easy enough to install. You don’t need 20 plays off this.

    If you have time to work on 2 QB offense you have time to put in a different look for goalline plays and build on the success we had with Khalid Hill and Ben Mason running it.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 5151
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Sep 08, 2019 at 7:30 PM

      McCaffrey could be quite good in a redzone package. His legs are useful here and his lack of arm strength isn’t a factor. If this staff wants to get him more involved, a situational role makes a lot more sense than the goofy rotation and 2QB formations they’ve tried so far.

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