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Inside the Play: Illinois Juice Keeper

Round 2.

The Situation
Illinois leads Michigan, 31-20 with about 9 minutes left in the game. After starting strong, the Michigan offense has sputtered, but finally got back on the board on its last drive. In spite of a questionable pass interference call on John Thompson, Michigan has Illinois in a 3rd-and-2 situation on their own 49 yard line. A stop here could help continue Wolverine momentum, and give the Wolverines a chance to get back into the game.

The Personnel and Formation

Illinois comes out in a 3-wide spread set, with a tight end on the right side of the line. Two wideouts are to the left. Isiah Williams is in the shotgun, with Daniel Dufrene lined up as the running back to his left. Michigan's base 3-4 has a linebacker (John Thompson) on the line to the slot receiver side. Obi Ezeh and Jonas Mouton are centered over the line, which consists of the standard starters (Graham, Taylor, Johnson, and Jamison). The secondary is composed of Brandon Harrison, Stevie Brown, Donovan Warren, and Morgan Trent.

The Play

Juice Williams runs a quarterback draw, running right into the heart of Michigan's strong defensive line. This should be a stop by Michigan, but Williams manages to scamper 50 yards down the field, before he is run down from behind by Stevie Brown at the 1 yard line. Michigan's defensive play is a blitz of the weakside of the formation by Thompson, with the line clogging things up and the other two linebackers playing the run. The secondary mans up on the receivers.

Why it Worked
Brandon Graham and Jonas Mouton seem to both be to blame for Juice getting loose (damnit, I was going to avoid saying that). Michigan's defensive play seems to be for the defensive line to plug up the middle, with the linebackers freed up to make plays near the line of scrimmage. Graham gets greedy, however, and gives up his inside position when it appears that Juice will try to go around the edge. This frees up a gap for Williams to head through. Mouton should be there, but he was also fooled by Juice, and has rushed to the outside to play contain. However, it appears as though his responsibility was not contain, as Brandon Harrison has filled the same gap. Mouton and Graham were both supposed to be in position to stop Juice here, and considering that neither was, it's easy to see why he got free.

Now you know what it was like Inside the Play.

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“Inside the Play: Illinois Juice Keeper”

  1. Anonymous santoro Says:

    Can't blame the coaching staff for either of those... plenty of guys in position to make a tackle on that screen, and especially on the draw, shouldnt have gone for more than a yard.. Poor angles, poor tackling, simply not acceptable for guys with this much experience. If that continues we are all very screwed.

    Never thought I be saying, "jee, I sure do hope we can get to the Motor City bowl." I just puked in my mouth...

  2. Blogger gsimmons85 Says:

    tim the lb, and the de had cannot play the same gap, the lb plays off of the de's scheme... its a clear and clowdy read... as the lb flows to the playside, and the de is plugging, he has to make a clear and clowdy read, and its has to be instant... the de is obviously inside, so the lb has a clowdy read, so he scrapes to clear. the safety is independent of the two, he is a contain player, that squeezes down to the closest possible position without being reached (squeezing the gap) so the two situations are totally independent of each other... this is all on graham.. no doubt... and the second it happend, i knew that, its a common mistake for an agressive dline to try to do everything... the lb have been critized for "freezing" and getting caught up on the blocks and so the dline is trying to make up for it, and make all the plays..and that is bad...