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Inside the Play: Toledo Defense

The Situation
It's the first quarter, and Michigan is trying to respond after a Toledo interception return put them down 7-0. Michigan has a 2nd-and-7 from the Toledo 36. A modest gain could move Michigan into field goal range. If they lose yards (Ha!), they will be pushed back, and face a daunting 3rd down conversion, which science says they are likely to convert at a very low rate (currently 27.2%, fourth from last in the NCAA).

The Personnel and Formation
Michigan is in the I-formation, with Sam McGuffie as the deep back and Mark Moundros the fullback. Kevin Koger is split in the slot, but motions over before the snap. Toledo is in a 3-4 defense with both outside linebackers in blitzing position. Prio to the snap, they bring one of their safeties up to the line of scrimmage.

The Play
Toss sweep to the right. Clusterfuck in the "blocking" department, with Schilling trying to stretch all the way to the safety, Moundros attempting to get to him once it is apparent Schilling will not, the playside DE unblocked, and all sorts of Toledo defenders flowing to the playside, with not enough blockers there to take care of all of them.

Why it Didn't Work
The purple line represents the arc of the playside offensive linemen.

This play was doomed from the beginning. By the time the ball was snapped, it was clear Michigan would be greatly outnumbered at the point of attack. Couple that with crappy blocking from Schilling (not his fault, he is being asked to make a ridiculous stretch), Moosman completely whiffs on his guy, and unblocked players in the backfield everywhere. Koger is blocking down on this play, which allows even his man to get into the backfield. McGuffie is screwed from the beginning, and does what he can to avoid a huge loss.

Now you (unfortunately) know what it was like Inside the Play.

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“Inside the Play: Toledo Defense”