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Air Force @ Michigan, Noon, Saturday, 9/16, BTN, Stream BTN2Go

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  • #16
    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.
    On Harbaugh's expectations for M football in 2015 (NFL NETWORK): We'd rather be about it than talk about it."

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    • #17
      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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      • #18
        ^

        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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        • #19
          41-12

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          • #20
            ..... 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.
            On Harbaugh's expectations for M football in 2015 (NFL NETWORK): We'd rather be about it than talk about it."

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            • #21
              McCray has really been struggling, AF could add to that. Most think he's still dinged up.

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              • #22
                Can't imagine not going more traditional front vs air force. Gary, mone, Hurst, Winovich, Bush, McCray, Hudson.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by The Oracle View Post
                  Can't imagine not going more traditional front vs air force. Gary, mone, Hurst, Winovich, Bush, McCray, Hudson.
                  Dunno ..... what makes Brown's version of the 3-3-5, 1 gap D so tough on AF is that the OL can't decide who they're going to option off to. It's a guessing game.

                  In a traditional 4-3, 2 gap D, the OL knows exactly which gap every defender is going to be in, who to double and who not to.

                  The risk is that the LBs and Ss who become those extra DL in Brown's D will get too aggressive. They have to stay gap sound and disciplined in making sure they know who the ball carrier is and where he's going ..... the A-back, the QB and the two B backs.
                  On Harbaugh's expectations for M football in 2015 (NFL NETWORK): We'd rather be about it than talk about it."

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by WingsFan View Post
                    McCray has really been struggling, AF could add to that. Most think he's still dinged up.
                    Actually, Brown, who has him at the WILL, probably neutralizes at least some of his limitations (coverage and horizontal speed) and optimizes his skills. He's a heady player with ball sense; he knows where to go and he's a powerful run stopper.
                    On Harbaugh's expectations for M football in 2015 (NFL NETWORK): We'd rather be about it than talk about it."

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                    • #25
                      You'd expect a 4-man front vs Air Force; both Hurst & Mone should be clogging up the middle to defend the dive with help from the MLB. We'll see what Brown does but conventional wisdom says you need to stop the first option (dive) of the triple option to have any chance. When you can't stop the dive, everything else breaks down. DE's, OLB's are able to defend the keeper/pitch instead of cheating in the middle to help the tackles.

                      4-3 is most always a 1-gap, Jeff. Brown's 3-3-5 is a 1-gap too, the defense just doesn't know which gap the LB's are defending... Article at MGoBlog by Seth is excellent at cleaning up the massive amount of misinformation about the 3-3-5, too many (e.g. MGoBlog forum) really have no clue what they are talking about.
                      Last edited by WM Wolverine; September 14th, 2017, 04:48 PM.

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                      • #26
                        Not to mention with Hurst, Mone, Gary, good luck singling any of those guys.

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                        • #27
                          You pollanna asshats are batshit crazy.
                          Dan Patrick: What was your reaction to [Urban Meyer being hired]?
                          Brady Hoke: You know.....not....good.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by WM Wolverine View Post
                            You'd expect a 4-man front vs Air Force; both Hurst & Mone should be clogging up the middle to defend the dive with help from the MLB. .......
                            I read Seth's description of Brown's version of the 3-3-5 Stack and the piece called Fee-Fi-Fo-Film AF Offense. Brown is 3-3-5 aficionado and advanced Jeff Casteel's WV version of it when Brown was at BC. We could see a 4-3 but according to Ace's piece on the offense he thinks Brown will stick with the 3-3-5 Stack ........

                            How will Michigan approach defending the Air Force attack? This screencap from the 2013 Boston College-Army game, when Don Brown was BC's defensive coordinator, indicates Michigan won't stray from the 3-3-5 stack that's been their base defense so far this season .......

                            This is ideal. It's easier to stop triple option offenses with one-gap defenses instead of two-gap defenses, and Brown's 3-3-5 is an aggressive one-gap scheme. 4-3 teams often adjust their linebackers so the MIKE has extra depth behind the nose tackle, giving him extra time to read the play and attack downhill; Brown's scheme already puts the MIKE at option-defense depth. Devin Bush will be a key defender in this game, and given the read-and-react ability he's shown so far this season, that's good news for Michigan. Mo Hurst also has a lot of responsibility at the nose, as he'll be a primary target for cut blocks as AF tries to open up the dive; Hurst should be able to handle that.


                            I'm pretty sure Brown will get what looks (confusingly and purposefully I would think) a 4-3 with the 3-3-5 stack; Hurst or Mone will be at the T position lined up over the C; the guys on each side of the T are called the Anchor and the End (Winovich and Kemp usu.). A LB or a S is going to step up to or very close to the LOS hands down or up doesn't really matter. I think this is where Brown's 3-3-5 looks morelike a 4-2-5. To the QB and OL trying to figure out what play to run, they are looking at a 4 man, 1 gap front.

                            Again, Seth ......

                            Not saying either of you guys are wrong mainly becasue terminology is confusing and obscure in may cases. But Brown has fashioned a very flexible D out of 3-3-5 concepts and the general consensus floating around out there v. AF is that he'll stick with that as his base D. Typical fans, and I include myself among that group, can't pick this up live (in the stadium or on TV). Replay helps but the real identification of what's going on for us comes from post game video study and that is not nearly as good as the multi-angle video that the coaches have available to them.
                            On Harbaugh's expectations for M football in 2015 (NFL NETWORK): We'd rather be about it than talk about it."

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                            • #29
                              No idea what Brown will do vs Air Force, he's not been predictable... Changing your base defense for one opponent is never optimal. Which is why you never schedule the military Universities, or Georgia Tech for awhile, and why I won't be surprised if we stick to the base 3-3-5 tomorrow.

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                              • #30
                                Drew Hallett‏ @DrewCHallett 48s48 seconds ago
                                More
                                Michigan Fans Tomorrow:

                                12:00-3:30 (Mich-AF): Man, the triple option is annoying.

                                4:30-8:00 (OSU-Army): WOO TRIPLE OPTION LET'S GOOO

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