Marcus Ray gives his final thought on Sports Talk 1050 WTKA during his weekly Rays of Light segment. He discusses Michigan's offense, defense, & Devin Gardner...
Normally a QB doesn't look to throw down the middle when there is a "post" safety in the middle of the field. In this case, MSU gave the Illusion they were going to have a post safety to close off the middle but that safety was really an "underneath" defender looking for crossing routes. He actually "blew" the coverage because Michigan TE Jake Butt ran right by the middle safety. The middle safety was technically responsible for the #3 WR, or TE in this case, if the TE ran vertically down the field. Gardner never saw a wide open Jake Butt streaking down the field. The sad part is that there wasn't any pressure in his face. In my conclusion, Norfleet seems to have ran his crossing route 5 yards too deep which brought more defenders into the primary target window, or Devin Funchess running the curl route. Norfleet should have ran a shallow cross, which is designed to hold the underneath defenders and open up the curl route window..
MSU DE Shilique Calhoun is most notable for his pass rush abilities but he's just as good vs. the run. Calhoun blows up an attempt by Michigan to run the "counter" where the backside OG and H-Back pulls. He uses a technique called "wrong arm" to spill, or cause the ball to bounce an extra gap outside the point of attack. Shilique uses his outside shoulder to hit the 1st puller, the OL falls back into the H-Back, which creates a pile and frees up #45 Darien Harris and #27 Drummond to make the tackle unblocked. This is just one example of how MSU executes their defense vs the run, and how it all fits together. Calhoun understands that when the TE releases up the field and the OT blocks down, he needs NOT get up the field, but recognizes a blocker from the backside is assigned to block him and he executes his run responsibility IMMEDIATELY. He's a well coached collegiate DE... If the backside OG blocks Calhoun and the H-Back can get to Drummond, it's a TD to say the least. Take That! Ya Dig??
Former Michigan safety and current Big Ten Network analyst Marcus Ray talks Michigan's defeat in East Lansing in this exclusive audio segment.
Former Michigan safety and current Big Ten Network college football analyst Marcus Ray has his say about Michigan-Michigan State in this exclusive audio segment, presented each week on TheWolverine.com.