After Brian at MGoBlog apparently hacked into my computer and stole the idea for my article, unfortunately, you will now need to purchase the Maize n Brew decoder ring to read future posts. If you think I'm just joking... Be sure to drink your Ovaltine. Yes, I'm going to make some money off of this if I'm doing it. We'll call it the Stephen M. Ross Maize n Brew Decoder Ring presented by Stephen M. Ross and "Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut, Sometimes You Don't" Almond Joy and Mounds. This is the future.
Anyway, today we are going to look at why Michigan had trouble against the Notre Dame's inside run plays. Much of the time, Michigan was in nickel personnel with two 3 techs with an over front. Let's take a closer look.
Notre Dame runs Power O without a FB. Essentially, the playside TE will block the DE instead of a FB. The backside OG is still pulling up through the hole and out onto the LB. Michigan, in an over front, means they are leaving Black open to be doubled. Black gets doubled and driven out of the hole with relative ease. His initial attack is good, as he attacks a single blocker, but he can't split and the doubling OT is able to get his shoulders turned. Once the shoulders are turned he can't hold up and is actually driven all the way back into Morgan, essentially putting three blockers on Morgan. Morgan could do a better job getting over the top, but he can't go too lateral as he has to fill as Ross is forcing the play back into him. Ross does a good job of meeting the pulling OG in the hole, but he dips his eyes and loses the runner. You can tell he's attack with outside arm free, trying to force the play back inside where it doesn't want to go (he's not letting the pulling blocker to seal him inside as he wants). He tries to fight across the blocker, but by the time the RB is on him he can't shed off the blocker well enough to slow the ball carrier.
To look at the whole breakdown of all five 2nd half runs that gashed Michigan, and the consistent problems presented to Michigan's front 6 against ND, follow the link.