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Week Two: Notre Dame Coaching Points

Quick look at some thoughts of Michigan vs ND from a coaching perspective. Find these tweets and more by following Space Coyote on Twitter.

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

1st Half

  • Interior O-line is struggling to get off interior DL and find LBs in the second level. Running by players. Need to know where to take eyes.
  • Jehu Chesson had an awesome peel back block on Gallon's long touchdown. The young man is a determined blocker.
  • On incompletion to Gallon in endzone DG had Gallon wide open but threw way late. Not sure He had correct drop on weak PA. Needs to get ball out before Gallon's break so he isn't trapped on sideline.
  • When check to speed option on GL. Same play that Denard was allowed to check to. Say two defenders on edge, one blocker. Option should work.
  • ND Defense then over committed because of confusion gave DG a great cut back. Very good vision by DG to cut back.
  • Staple in many of the NFL read option out of the pistol being run a lot. OSU's favorite play as well. Utilizes DG's long stride better.
  • On double reverse, Gallon would have had huge gain but Schofield failed to disengage with DB DG was blocking to come back inside.
  • A couple plays later, Jackson failed on his wall defender inside, otherwise the fake dive pitch would have gone for big yards. FYI Jaylon Smith is going to be great, but just have to keep body between him and sideline and run with him. Don't need to drive block, just annoy him. It's enough for Fitz to get outside.
  • Borges using misdirection well, trying to take adv of fast moving LBs. Run not great cause interior not getting to LBs. But keeps LBs honest
  • DG has had some poor mechanics and still made passes. Pure arm strength has looked great today. Made very good choices as well.
  • DL is very disruptive between the tackles. Does a great job of controlling OL and shedding to get arms and bodies in mix. (This was with Nose in the game). QWash did great in that regard.
  • Slot defenders, NBs and LBs, need to disrupt WR routes more in 2nd half. All ND passing success has been based on having correct timing in seam.
  • LBs and flat defenders not doing a good job of reading and reacting to backfield receiver. Been open all day. ND has missed it a lot.
  • Countess did a great job reading QB's eyes from his short zone. Read eyes, left receiver and undercut pass. Great recognition
  • Tackling on the edge has struggled a little bit. I expected ND to attack with Atkinson to test Ss and CBs trying to breakdown on the edge, but they never really did.DL has failed to get good rush with 4. Lots of bull rush, gap responsible. Not many good pass rush moves
  • ND offense is shooting themselves in the foot a bit. Defense is getting pressure, but not covering well enough.
  • On why Chesson wasn't as involved: Borges is calling plays and putting Gallon in position to take advantage. Chesson doing great job holding Sshis has let Gallon work underneath and in 1v1 coverage a lot of the night. He may not be having catches, but is effecting gameOn why interior OL struggled: Have to know where to place eyes though. Need to find LBs blitzing B gaps. Nix is good NT, it's gonna happen.
  • On pass rush: Stunts not getting home extremely well. But ND QB feeling it. He starts gaining depth in pocket making passes more difficult. Still needs improvement.

2nd Half

  • DG made two costly mistakes stemming from the same thing. He needs a variety of ways to break the pocket
  • First drive of 2nd half, needs to step into a throw and OOB instead of fading and getting sacked to preserve a big FG, making game 17 points
  • ND attacking with very wide angles. Need to step into pocket and out more often. That was option to buy time.
  • DG still needs to do better stepping into throws. But does a great job holding up in pocket and making throws under pressure
  • As stated in game, didn't get hip and shoulder upfield on roll to off hand. That forced him to jump and turf it.
  • Relies too often on reverse pivot roll to weak hand. ND picked up on it, took wide angles into DG. Needs to step in to get outside rush to become more shallow. Take advantage of natural ally DL is forming.
  • OL made some adjustments in blocking. Miller struggled in the middle handling Nix with less help. Nix is hand full.
  • Thought Borges called hell of a game. Made great adjustments to things in saw in defensive coverages. Attacked ND in lots of ways.
  • WRs ran routes today they never did w/ Denard or most of last year. Pass game has become much more complex and diverse.
  • Think UM missed Williams in run game. Struggled a bit to block edge. He came back in but wasn't the same.
  • ND ran ton of 4 man line and lot of 4-3 Under. Michigan seemed more comfortable blocking against it.
  • Defense tried to disrupt timing more often in second half. Hand some success, need to work on it with LBs though. Ross whiffed on a jam on the TE. his problem was he attacked forward. Have to let TE commit on move and react.
  • GMatt made a great adjustment in 8 man blitz, blitzing safety and keeping Countess covering slot on corner. Change result in incomplete instead of big gain (or TD in this case). Difference was Countess did better job walling off inside, facing sideline. Could break quicker and stick tighter to corner route. ND should have rotated slot to field. Didn't have much room for corner there.
  • Didn't like that GMatt took out NT so often. Needed pass rush, but got gashed w/ two 3 techs in game at same time. Stop the ground game and let ND get behind the sticks. He was doing that with coverage, but thought he needed it in run game first.
  • ND QB did some very nice things with his feet. Felt pressure and drifted away from it on max blitzes. Made a great 3rd down check. UM went to 3 man line that won NW game. It's a run blitz package. UM has tipped it, ND film study saw it and didn't try to run against it. Went from pistol form to shotgun and quick pass. Got easy first down.
  • Thought CBs held up quite well on an island. Didn't get beat deep but tackled well in space. It would be nice for them to jump some routes, but stopping big play is more important IMO. They did this. Made ND work down field whole game.
  • Great read and react on 3rd down bubble. Taylor beat the man and so did Beyer. Pinched ball on sideline.
  • Wormley is going to grade out poorly. Got killed on doubles on the interior.
  • Funchess on 3rd down PI call. Was getting walled outside, had open grass middle field. Needed to shield defender outside. This gives DG a better target and an easy throw for a TD. Don't need to break route concept (which had post over top), just route adjust.
Remember, these are quick initial reactions that were made off a single viewing. It may not be perfect, but gives you an idea of what I saw. Remember, you can follow me on twitter @SpaceCoyoteBDS.

Good win. Go Blue!