Saturday, September 15, 2007

What we hope to see at saturday's Pillow fight

Some things we'd like to see:

-More play action from the M offense, and not just with the waggle. Given the way ND has struggled against the run, I would guess we will see a lot of 8 man fronts. Some play action to the Carson Butler or quick outs to Arrington or Manningham will help loosen that defense and will give Hart more room to run.

-No Greg Mathews. Mathews' kick of an Oregon player was inexcusable. He should be suspended for at least one game.

-Backup RBs who can hold on to the ball. Hart can't run the ball on every play. It would be nice to have someone else who can run with some authority.

-A focused Mario. No breaking off routes, no giving up on balls, and hold onto things that hit your hands.

-Mallet in the shotgun in obvious passing downs. He spent his entire HS career in the shotgun, he's comfortable with it, and it will give him more time to wait for those crossing routes to develop.

-No FB shuffle. Whenever we put the FB in motion, we always run that way, it's a dead giveaway. Of course you always go against that and run a play the opposite way. Maybe you could run the shuffle one way, fake the pitch to Hart going that way and give to the FB on a little counter going back the other way.

-Better tackling! - A good portion of our defensive woes will be alleviated if the first five people to reach a ball carrier didn't bounce off him like flies off a Sherman tank.

-Marques Slocum, Brandon Graham, and Jonas Mouton. These three guys who all figured to be starting or primary backups prior to the season will give the DL and LBs much needed depth. Brandon Graham is a true sophomore who might be the best DE on the team. If he plays, it will allow Shawn Crable to return to his more natural OLB position. Slocum, who waited two years to qualify for Michigan and then got suspended right before the first game after an MIP, will spell Terrance Taylor and Will Johnson at DT if he plays. Mouton is a redshirt freshman LB who might get some of Chris Graham's minutes.

-Some (at least thinly) disguised coverages. If we are going to run zone, make sure WR is covered so the zone isn't so obvious pre-snap. Rotate safeties at the last minute. Bring a corner blitz every now and then. In general don't let the emu get comfortable.

More of this:

And less of this: