Posted at 6:00am -- 8/30/2011 GBMWolverine: Coach's Corner -- Michigan..."/> Posted at 6:00am -- 8/30/2011 GBMWolverine: Coach's Corner -- Michigan..."/>

GBMWolverine: Coach’s Corner — Michigan Football — Western Michigan at Michigan — What may Happen and What to Watch — Part I


Posted at 6:00am — 8/30/2011

GBMWolverine: Coach’s Corner — Michigan Football — Western Michigan at Michigan — What may Happen and What to Watch — Part I

Everyone is pumped, and, health able, ready to go. It is an exciting time. But for coaches the first game can be one of puzzlement if not downright anxiety. As a coach, you have seen the battlefield in practice but not in a real game.

Still, to analyze the present and future, look to the immediate past, unless of course a new scenario evolves. Such a scenario has evolved in this game on the Michigan side.

What Michigan and Western Michigan will likely attempt to do in Saturday’s Game.

The primary objective is to win the game. The stated method of winning by the new staff is to run the ball in a power set. However, Coach Borges has made no bones about bending the power offense to fit Denard Robinson’s skills. So, the idea that Denard will take most of the snaps under center is out the window. In fact the opposite may happen. The best opportunity to score and move the ball is to set up situations where Denard can use his wheels and hit pay dirt. This can happen on impromptu scrambles, planned quarterback draws or breaking contain on the edge.

Western will counter with at least one spy and maybe two on every play. The spy may change depending on down and situation. When Western smells a quarterback draw, say on a third and five situation, the middle may spy, and on projected pocket rolls the outside man may spy. Michigan may counter by sending some backs out to the flat. If the backs can occupy the edge and make positive yardage, the pressure increases on the Bronco defense. Smith and Shaw appear to be the best options, but sooner or later this year the fullback will be used as a receiver as well.

Michigan will not ignore the power running game. There will be I formation in short yardage on maybe even on any play where the offense is ahead of schedule. This serves plenty of purpose. First, the stated goal of the offense is power running and the only way to obtain the goal is to put it into practice. The Denard scenario just cuts this goal back somewhat. Second, the Bronco’s defensive line, while more experienced and having the entire d-line back, certainly can give up yardage. There will be a clear attempt to get a back into a rhythm,

Michigan will plan for Bronco defensive end and sack-master Paul Hazel. One strategy is to isolate him and run right into the C gap or outside alley. Another choice is to roll the pocket away from Hazel on passing situations. A third option is invite him into the backfield and hit a quick screen at the edge.

Michigan will keep an eye out for an opportunity to go deep. Hitting a couple of big plays not only helps Saturday’s results but could affect how Notre Dame games their defense. The double move is the most probable method.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff

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