2021 Michigan Football — Playbook — Flea Flicker — Hassan Haskins to Cade McNamara to Mike Sainristil

Let’s break down Michigan’s 3rd Quarter Flea Flicker versus Ohio State in their 42-27 victory.

Michigan has shown the flea flicker before this season and here is another variation.


They line up strong right (tight end and twins) on the left hashmark #25 Hassan Haskins in the backfield to the right of Cade McNamara. #5 Mike Sainristil (the trailing twin to #14 Roman Wilson) goes in motion pre-snap.

Michigan is targeting #5 and #17 on the Ohio State defense.


#25 Hassan Haskins takes the handoff, freezing the Ohio State secondary and then flips the ball back to Cade McNamara.

Check out the Michigan offensive line- #76 Ryan Hayes and #77 Trevor Keegan seal the middle while #68 Andrew Vastardis drops back to block the Ohio State defensive end. #65 Zak Zinter and #84 Joel Honigford take on Ohio defenders while #25 Hassan Haskins and #71 Andrew Steuber provide moral support.

Cade McNamara has all day to make the pass.

McNamara throws a pass Sainristil and Michigan executes another flea flicker play (3:37 of the below clip). #5 on the Ohio State mirrors Sainristil but gets turned around as he breaks downfield.


McNamara slightly underthrows Sainristil or the play might have gone for a touchdown. But the impact on Ohio State can’t be overstated.

Nothing But ‘Net – Week #05 – 11/29/2021 – A Pre-Thanksgiving Turkey

The (#20) University of Michigan men’s basketball team played one game this past week, and they won it.  On Wednesday (11/24/2021), they beat Tarleton State 65-54 in Crisler Arena.  The win raises Michigan’s record to 4-2.

What Happened?

The TSU game was held the night before Thanksgiving, and it was a turkey.  Michigan played down to the competition, and turned what should have been a blowout into a close, competitive game.  Michigan has a much bigger, more talented lineup, but they let TSU set the pace, and they played a sloppy, uneven game because of it.

The early going was sloppy, and the score was still tied (12-12) with 12:43 to go in the 1st half.  Michigan opened up a slim 2-4 point lead for the next few minutes, but only led by 1 point (21-20) at the 5:17 mark.  They closed the half out strong, with a 10-2 run, to lead by 9 points (31-22) at halftime.  TSU cut the lead to 7 points (31-24) to start the 2nd half, but Michigan quickly pushed the lead up into double digits, and led by 16 points (40-24) with 17:21 to go.  TSU chipped away at the lead, but UM still led by 11 points (52-41) at the 8:32 mark.  TSU went on an 8-0 run, to cut the lead to only 3 points (52-49) with 6:06 to go.  That was as close as they got, but they sure did give UM a scare.


The game stats are respectable.  Michigan shot pretty well overall (21-for-38 = 55.3%), they shot 3-pointers decently (6-for-18 = 33.3%), and they shot free throws well enough (17-for-22 = 77.3%).  They won the rebounding battle (37-21), but lost the turnover battle horribly (21-9).  The main reason this game was so close was all the UM turnovers.  Look at the overall shooting: only 38 shots in a 40-minute game.  They had so many empty trips down the floor where they never even got a shot off.  TSU sped them up, and they responded by throwing the ball away.

Who Started?

The starters were Eli Brooks, Hunter Dickinson, Caleb Houstan, Brandon Johns, Jr., and DeVante’ Jones.

Who Looked Good?

Brooks continues to be the most consistent player on the team.  He was the high scorer for Michigan, with 15 points.  Of course, he took 12 shots to get those 15 points (4-for-12 overall, 3-for-9 from 3-point range).  He also had 5 turnovers, against 3 assists.

Houstan finally contributed, with 14 points and 10 rebounds, for his first career double-double.  He shot a decent percentage: 4-for-7 overall, 2-for-5 from deep.

Dickinson almost had a double-double, with 9 points and 10 rebounds.  He should have had 20+ points against a much smaller TSU lineup, but UM had a terrible time getting the ball into him at the post.  He only took 6 shots.

Moussa Diabate was the star of the game, with 14 points and 7 rebounds off the bench.  He shot 6-for-7, with his only miss on his only 3-point attempt.

Frankie Collins played 15 minutes, and scored 6 points on 2-for-2 shooting, including 1-for-1 from 3-point range, and a free throw.  He did a nice job running the offense when he was in, with 4 assists against 1 turnover.

Who Looked Not-So-Good?

Jones had a miserable game, with 0 points (on 0 shots) and 5 turnovers against 1 assist.  He was worthless out there.

Johns had a weak game, with 5 points, but 3 turnovers.

Terrance Williams II played for 12 minutes, and scored 2 points, on free throws.

Who Else Played?

Adrien Nuñez played for 3 minutes, and missed his only shot attempt for 0 points.

Who Didn’t Play?

Isaiah Barnes, Kobe Bufkin, Zeb Jackson, Jace Howard, and Will Tschetter are the scholarship players who didn’t play.  Jackson has an unspecified illness.  I don’t know why the others didn’t get in.  I guess the game was too close.

Ian Burns, Jaron Faulds, and Brandon Wade are on the scout team, so they’re a lower priority for minutes.

What Does It Mean?

Michigan continues to look weak and uninspired.  Maybe it was because they took TSU too lightly.  Maybe it was because they were looking ahead to the Thanksgiving break.  Whatever the reason, they need to work out the problems and start playing sharp basketball.  They have the components on the team to do well, they just need to get the chemistry thing worked out.

At this point, I’d say that Michigan is “on the bubble” for making the NCAA Tournament.  The way they’ve been playing, they will be lucky to win even 10 games in the Big Ten.  That won’t get them in the Big Dance.

What’s Next?

This week, Michigan plays two games.  On Wednesday (12/01/2021, 9:15 p.m., ESPN) they play at North Carolina, then on Saturday (12/04/2021, 1:00 p.m., CBS) they play San Diego State in Crisler Arena.  The UNC game is part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

North Carolina is currently 4-2, with no impressive wins, and losses to Purdue and Tennessee.  They have one noteworthy player (center Armando Bacot, Jr.), and some height (Bacot is 6’10”, and another guy is 6’11”), so Michigan’s big men will be busy again.  If this game were in Ann Arbor or at a neutral site, it would be a toss-up, but playing at UNC is tough.  Michigan will have to play their best game of the season so far to win this one.

San Diego State is currently 4-2, with wins over Arizona State and Georgetown, and losses to BYU and USC.  They were very good last season (23-5), and they look pretty good again this season.  For many years, they were coached by our old friend Steve Fisher, and now the head coach is Brian Dutcher, who was an assistant coach at UM for 10 seasons under Fisher.  SDSU doesn’t have any nationally known players, but they do have decent height (a pair of 6’10” guys).  This should be a very challenging non-conference game.

Check back next week to find out what happened and why.

Go Blue!

Michigan 42 Ohio State 27 – Game 12 Recap



Final Score: 42-27, Michigan by 15 over Ohio State
SP+ Projection: OSU by 5.8 (+20.8)
CD Projection: OSU by 3 (+18)


GAME 12 RECAP vs. Ohio State

What a day! It was a fitting cap to an outstanding regular season for these Michigan Wolverines. Michigan dominated on both sides of the ball on the way to a 42-27 statement victory over their greatest rival, the Ohio State Buckeyes. This is Jim Harbaugh’s first victory over the Buckeyes, and Ryan Day’s first loss to any team in the Big Ten.

Offensively, the best way to describe today is COMPLETE. As usual, the Wolverines were led by their senior running back Hassan Haskins. Haskins carried 28 times for 169 yards and a Michigan-record-tying 5 touchdowns. Blake Corum returned to action and also chipped in 87 yards and 14.5 yards per carry.

When the Wolverines wanted to throw the ball, they were also successful. Cade McNamara was 13-of-19 for 159 yards after shaking off an early interception. JJ McCarthy flashed all-world talent once again on a beautiful 31-yard connection with Roman Wilson along the right sideline. Josh Gattis brought the best game plan he’s ever put together, and the Wolverines executed to the tune of 42 points and a 72% Success Rate.

Most of the concern heading into the game was whether the Michigan defense could stand up to a historically great Ohio State offense. The feeling of what may be possible started to spread through the Big House at half time when the Buckeyes only had 13 points to show. CJ Stroud amassed 394 passing yards, and Jackson Smith-Njigba was a human highlight reel, but the Bucks could never catch the Wolverines on the score board in the 2nd half.

Aidan Hutchinson looked nearly unblockable again. His 3rd quarter sack gave him sole possession of the Michigan single season sack record, with at least two games yet to play this year. Josh Ross also stepped forward and made 2 or 3 huge stops on key short yardage situations. It was a fitting narrative that these leaders would stamp The Game with such heroic performances.

The return game was solid again, another common theme for this 2021 team. Michigan won the field position battle, if only slightly. Perhaps the biggest key was avoiding FG attempts in the red zone. Michigan had seven opportunities in scoring position, and scored 6 touchdowns without having to attempt a field goal.

Jim Harbaugh echoed Wolverine lore in his press conference, stating that the Michigan faithful will be celebrating deep into the night. He is 100% right. I pray the players and coaches can enjoy this as well. There is still work to be done, as Michigan looks for their first Big Ten Championship in 17 years next weekend. Onward!

2021 Michigan Football — Playbook — Victory — Erick All 47 Yard TD Reception

Let’s break down the 47 yard touchdown pass from QB Cade McNamara to TE Erick All at the 3:40 mark of the 4th quarter.

It was a huge play for Michigan, coming back and taking the lead on the road at Penn State.


Here is the pre-snap look at the line of scrimmage. It’s 2nd and 10 yards to go, early in 4th quater. Michigan has the three receivers to the wide side of the field– as I’ve mentioned before, this is one of my favorite formations used by Josh Gattis. It gives the offense many options and causes coverage problems, if the offensive line can hold their blocks long enough for the receivers to run their routes. Penn State has their defense spread defending the edges, almost daring Michigan to run inside.

Here’s another angle showing the match-ups, and the Nittany Lions have a problem. They have overloaded their defense keying on #25 Hassan Haskins. #12 Cade McNamara knows that #83 Erick All will have an opportunity for a huge play if the offense line can hold.


As the play unfolds things go from bad to worse for Penn State. First, the Michigan offensive line holds, allowing all three receivers (#5 Mike Sainristil, #14 Roman Wilson, and #6 Cornelius Johnson) to run patterns to left side of the first, drawing their defenders with them.

Second, Penn State defender #4 who is mirroring #83 Erick All, runs into another defender giving All separation. #5 Sainstril has plenty of open field and even #12 McNamara could made a nice gain if he chose to run.

What happens next is when is everything goes right.

Not only was Michigan in great position we had two photographers covering the game and one was in perfect postion.

McNamara hits All as he crosses the formation, and Penn State defenders rush to pursue.

Photo by Dell Callihan/UMGoBlue.COM

#4 (who ran into another defender) attempting to shadow All had the best chance but he unable to catch him.

Photo by Dell Callihan/UMGoBlue.COM

#16 (playing deep safety) nearly forces All out of bound prior to end zone but he comes up short as well.

Photo by Dell Callihan/UMGoBlue.COM
Photo by Dell Callihan/UMGoBlue.COM
Photo by Dell Callihan/UMGoBlue.COM


This play shows how the overloading the formation to the wide side causes problems for Penn State.

Michigan called a great play, but it relied on the offensive line holding their blocks, All running a precise pattern, and McNamara throwing a ball right where it needed to go– not to mention a little luck with Penn State defenders running into each other.

Not to be completely outdone, our other photographer got this great shot after the game.

Erick All, Josh Gattis, and Cade McNamara celebrating post game
Photo by Ryan Callihan/UMGoBlue.COM