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


Posted at 6:00am — 9/1/2011

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

Look for the staple of the modified West Coast Offense in the passing game; namely quick timing patterns of short and intermediate routes. It would be no surprise here if Gallon does not break a couple of big plays. Jeremy is better than he looked last year. It would not surprise us to see Kelvin Grady do the same. Neither of the two are elite slots, but both are dangerous and have plenty of ability to contribute.

The West Coast, like the spread, seeks favorable match-ups that may yield big plays. Look for much of the action to be to the outside in the passing game. This is where Denard has been best and may cut down the turnovers on passes over the middle. Roundtree is good on quick outs and quick curls to the inside. The follow up is the double move if the somewhat aggressive WMU corners jump routes. The ultimate success of this staple revolves around Denard’s ability to read the defensive backs.

Western Michigan knows of Michigan’s past woes in the secondary and will attempt to exploit this perceived advantage. There will be multiple sets, the ball will go over the middle frequently (especially on an isolation one-on-one post from the boundary receivers. Michigan needs to have the safeties play with control and preparation.

Western will flood one side frequently with three receivers and then motion a back into the same area to block a hot read or hit the flat area.

There are times WMU will run out of a power I, tight end set with one wide out. Look for the play action and the post to the lone wide out down the middle seam at least once.

Western likes to use the backs in the passing game. That will happen to counter Michigan’s aggression. The Bronco’s run a trips jailbreak screen to the inside.

Michigan knows that quarterback Carder is an effective runner. There may be a spy on obvious quarterback draw situations. But more likely Coach Mattison will send the fort. Almost certainly Michigan will blitz and game all over the place with the primary game objective of disrupting Carder. There will be many alignments with personnel switching roles aplenty. The pressure and blitz’s may yield results as the Bronco offensive line has injuries (see below). Pressure may be the key to the entire game. Western’s remedy may be to use the backs on draws or quick screens.

Western, as the underdog, will look for big plays. Besides the regular offense, two such opportunities present themselves. First, Western has a very strong kick return game, one that can yield big plays. Second, Michigan will be using a first game true freshman punter. So, it makes sense that Western will seriously come after him at least once or twice.

Western’s base running game is in question. Coach Cubit has made it clear one of his missions is to improve the base running game, one that almost mirrored UM’s last year in producing short yardage success. Cubit, a strong offensive coach will probably take a quick check to see if the Bronco’s can succeed with base power plays. If so, this sets up Carder to do some real damage.

The problem is injuries to the offensive line. It has been stated (one never knows) that Western’s fine center is out and two more linemen are fighting injuries. If not, the planned change will go on hold and Michigan fans will see the ball fly all over. It is possible that Western believes right from the game initiation the best chance is winging it, but this may not be likely with Michigan’s past performance on run defense.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff

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