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Inside the Play: Michigan State

There may be another ITP coming from this game. Stay tuned later in the week in case there is.

The Situation
It's Michigan State's first drive of the game. The drive started on their own 17, and despite a big sack, they were able to convert on a long third down attempt, completing a pass to Mark Dell. After a pair of Javon Ringer runs, they face 3rd and 5 from their own 39 yard line. A stop here, and Michigan sets the tone against Little Brother. If the Spartans convert, however, they might be able to ride the momentum to their first victory against the Wolverines since 2001.

The Personnel and Formation

Michigan State comes out in a 4-wide shotgun. White Blair is in the left slot next to Mark Dell, and a tight end (Charlie Gantt) is lined up in the right slot. Javon Ringer is to Hoyer's right. Michigan counters this formation with a 4-3. Jonas Mouton is head-up with White, and Johnny Thompson is over the tight end. Stevie Brown and Brandon Harrison are the safeties.

The Play

Michigan appears to be running a cover-2 man scheme on this play. Jonas Mouton is the important party, as he is White's man. At the snap, Dell doesn't even go out on a route, and instead occupies Trent with a block of sorts. On the right, the other wideout gets an outside release and runs his defender (Warren) off. The slots are making all the magic on this play. Gantt runs a hook towards the middle of the field, and White runs a slant. This is clearly a one-read play for Hoyer, as he never looks anywhere other than directly at White. White makes the catch, breaks a tackle from Stevie Brown, and races to the endzone.

Why it Worked

Jonas Mouton gets completely burned by his man on this play. He gives up the middle of the field, and is left chasing after White. Compounding the issue, Stevie Brown pretty much whiffs on his tackle, allowing White to get behind the last line of defense. Mouton is culpable for the reception, and Brown is at fault for allowing a first down to turn into a touchdown.

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“Inside the Play: Michigan State”

  1. Blogger RJHOVE Says:

    brown and tackling dont go very well together.

  2. Anonymous santoro Says:

    Steve Brown = Satan

  3. Blogger Chris Says:

    Glad you posted this. GSimmons talked about it too. During the game, my rage was all about Brown missing that tackle, but our linebackers have made our safeties look even worse than they really are.