Well I suspect they will be better on offense. But if we get into a shootout with them in November, I like our chances. A lot.
Fields of Dreams
I wouldn't assume their offense will be better in the short term. It'll take time to recruit the right players for the system and of course for them to execute on the plans. The transition to spread, up-tempo offenses usually take longer than one season. Expect growing pains.
In the poll era (since 1936), OSU is by far the class of the B1G:
National Titles: OSU 8, UM 3
B1G Titles: OSU 33, UM 27
Head-to-head: OSU 42, UM 36
Major Bowls (New Year's Six): OSU 20-14, UM 10-16
Totally agree. Also, those RPOs are a lot to easier to run when you have Saquon Barkley or a stable of Bama RBs to hand it too. They might have a true freshman who is decent at RB and that's about it.
And as we know all too well, it takes a while for an offensive line to learn and perfect the system. Expect some growing pains for that offense - I think best case scenario for them is that they start to gel and figure it out by the time November rolls around. That's best case.
Worst case is it takes a few seasons for it to come together. As the article pointed out, Gattis has NEVER called plays before. Will Harbaugh be patient? Is he in a position to be patient?
“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt
I recall Rich Rodriguez, with much more experience than Gattis, trying to implement a spread offense at TUN. It looked good on paper...
Rich Rod tried to build a team out of small WVU-style players. He didn't get the B1G.
"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer
When he got there, tho, he had big B1G type guys. It still wasn't successful. At least for Harbaugh, he has a guy that can coach Defense. Or at least that can coach a defense that's good against unranked opponents.
I recall RichRod putting up a lot of points at UM. As far as I recall, their bigger issue was that their defense was terrible and he never made any changes
Here is their ppg under Rich Rod- not exactly a lot of points but yes their D was the bigger problem his last season for sure:
2008: 20.2 ppg (99th out of 120)
2009: 29.5 ppg (41st out of 120)
2010: 32.8 (25th out of 120)
For a basis of comparison. In 2016 when everyone hated out offense and we were shutout in playoff, we still averaged 39.4 ppg good enough for 13th out of 128 teams. So while UM improved on offense, he never had a top 20 offense at any point and his first season was absolutely pathetic offensively.
Fields has to prove he can be effective first before trying to win a shootout. Patterson is already game worthy.
This is such a typical michigan fan response. When are you all going to wait to see on field results before expecting them ahead of time? At least ohio state fans have proof of concept on their side.
I think I'll side with Saban on this one.
If you have two people that agree on everything, that only means one of them is not thinking at all.
Saban would rather let him walk then let him call the plays. Interesting.
I don't think Saban's reluctance to give him the playcalling duties says as much about Gattis as it does about Saban's preference of not wanting Alabama to be a testing ground for an unproven entity. Gattis' background indicates he has some potential, but we will see if Harbaugh's gamble pays off.
Saban's preference of not wanting Alabama to be a testing ground for an unproven entity.
I'm with Saban. A tippy-top program is no place for OJT. And yes I know how that extrapolates.
If Saban thought Gattis brought value, then he would have given him the job.
All I was saying is that Saban didn't want to give a first time coordinator control of his offense. His history supports that, at least going all the way back to 2009. Tosh Lupoi, who is the only one without previous coordinator responsibilities, was only a co-DC working under Golding and Pruitt. Below are Alabama's last 5 offensive and defensive coordinators.
Current OC: Steve Sarkisian / DC: Pete Golding
2018: OC: Mike Locksley / Co-DC: Pete Golding & Tosh Lupoi
2017: Co-OC: Brian Daboll & Mike Locksley / Co-DC: Jeremy Pruitt/Tosh Lupoi
2016: OC: Lane Kiffin / DC: Jeremy Pruitt
2015: OC: Lane Kiffin / DC: Kirby Smart
All of them (aside from Lupoi as I pointed out) had at least some previous experience as a coordinator before taking that position at Alabama.
So again, I think that Gattis not getting the OC job at Bama is more likely to do with Saban's preference of having someone with experience in that position. Not that they are not valuable. Furthermore, Gattis was ready to take the OC job at Maryland when Locksley was hired; when Harbaugh offered him the position and control he took that instead, and who could blame him. So he was already on his way out because he was offered a better position than Saban was going to give him, not because Saban didn't see value in him.
Gattis is a smart guy, one of those coaches on the rise, and Patterson (and I'm guessing McCaffrey as well) has the athleticism to operate in the new scheme.
But they still need to get this new offense down live, and they still need a running back (Tru Wilson the starter now?).
I don't know how much honeymoon is left up there, especially if they stumble (again) in big games this fall.
I had to run away high, so I wouldn't come home low...
Completely agree with this and the points made in the article. It's tough as the top man to stray too far from your comfort zone. Meyer's was always QB run (which even with Haskins at QB made some appearances last fall). Jim's seems to be I-formation.
"Medicine is not a science" - Leo Spaceman
and eating boogers.....................
I wonder if Shea Patterson will tweet about Gattis at the end of the season like he did Harbaugh when everything goes poorly and Gattis doesn't let Shea call plays.
"If Chase Young is truly bigger than I think he is and taller than I think he is, he would probably have to be the literal Predator because I've seen him with my own two eyes and I personally think he's pretty damn Sasquatchian." - Kevin Harrish
Wasn't that tweet fake? It's funny anyway, though.
Supposedly that tweet was a fake.
Trying to use their spring practice as any type of gauge is tough. First, Gattis had only been there a couple of months. Second, that defense they were going up against in that practice had been destroyed by both Ohio State and Florida and were missing some of their better pieces as those players graduated/declared for the draft. It is rare for a defense to be behind an offense in spring and preseason so for that offense to be doing that to their defense that soon might say more about their defense this coming year. There are definitely some quality players on their offense and they return basically their whole OL so other than running back I expect them to be better but that defense may end making the Buckeye defense of 2018 look like the Steel Curtain.
I don't buy one goddam drop of gas in the state of Michigan!
Returning many average players and missing a good running back doesn't add up to an improved offense imo. But I do appreciate that Harbaugh is at least trying something new. We'll see if he can let Gattis do his work or not
I’ll give them the fact that their two top receivers are awesome. They have NO running back. Even Higdon was just average last year. To me, their QB is a bit overrated. Yes, he was much better than the garbage they had out there the previous years, but I was much more afraid of Trace McSorley, for example.
But they still need to get this new offense down live,
You're completely correct. Michigan does need time to get the new offense down live. But 2019 is very well set up for Michigan.
I don't know how much honeymoon is left up there
There's lots of honeymoon left. Baumgardner had a good article in the Detroit Free Press today. He rightly points out that Michigan's challenge isn't to be very good . . . it is to be elite, which it is not. Here's the link, and a few quotes:
Michigan has won 73% of its games over the last four years. That's No. 10 nationally. Michigan has won 74% of its conference games in that span. Only four Power Five teams in America have done better. One of those teams happens to be Ohio State, Michigan's chief rival and a club firmly entrenched among the country's most consistent and seemingly bulletproof powerhouses for — well, basically forever.
Harbaugh's record is what it is. He's 26-5 against everyone in the Big Ten not named Ohio State. And 0-4 in what most consider to be the most important game on the schedule.
Michigan football is somewhere between No. 5 and No. 10 nationally in strength of program, a spot most would be envious of. But with the four-team CFP, that's no man's land. Good, but not great. Purgatory.
This is about as strong a roster as Michigan could hope for considering the fact the Wolverines haven't had a CFP appearance to leverage in recruiting. You're not going to put together mega-classes like Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State do until you make the playoff and win a national title — like Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State have.
I really think the OL is what is going to be the huge difference this year. For the first time in what seems forever, Michigan's OL has depth, and will be good, if not great, at BOTH the run game and pass protection.
I am shell shocked after the OSU debacle last year. But Michigan has 11 games to get the offense operating well. I am looking forward to November to see if Michigan is finally able to really compete with you guys on the field.
Thanks for the Freep link, BF, that's a spot-on assessment.
The schedule is kind, and there's time to get things in place as you point out.
Habits are hard to break ol blu. Have my #69 down vote.
Hey Cancer! This ass kicking is brought to you by the Guernsey county mafia. Give it Hell 84!
Here's my take on this quote: Forget about leveraging a CFP appearance in recruiting. How do you go about de-leveraging pathetic bowl losses to Florida (41-15) and South Carolina (26-19) the last 2 years? Games that UM should have won, on paper, except that their players (and coaches?) checked out of mentally and/or literally. I thought Bo's motto was, "The Team, the Team, the Team." When players are checking out, it's not "the Team" anymore. Until you fix those problems, you can forget about ever making it past OSU, Alabama, and Clemson.
I'm on the fence on this. I could easily believe that teams ranked 5 - 10, who just miss the CFP, could be pretty disappointed and disgruntled and have some kids, especially those who will go in the first round in the NFL anyway, kind of check out and move on. Be thankful that you haven't had to deal with this much at OSU.
I agree with you that when players check out, it isn't "The Team" anymore. However, we live in a different time and world than the one Bo lived in.
I really think the OL is what is going to be the huge difference this year.
They SHOULD be a strength this year, but now they're learning a whole new system. Expect the line to take a while to come together - in a way, they're starting over from scratch. Not entirely (they still have experienced players), but we've all seen how rough the adjustment to a new offensive system can be.
And playing Army in game 2 is gonna suck for both the offensive and defensive lines.
I like the assessment as well. It will be interesting to see if Harbaugh will keep his hands off if there are some early struggles. In some ways we face a similar challenge with a QB learning a new system.
Not sure why you DV's for a good comment.
Strive at all times to bend, fold, spindle and mutilate.
I always get DV's, which comes with the territory for a Michigan fan at an OSU website. However, you'll notice I didn't venture into any threads about Harbaugh and the Media Days stuff. There's nothing I could say or do that would result in anything other than a big DV.
I for one, generally enjoy your posts. You don't come here to troll or instigate and your posts are well-considered and respectful. +1 from me.
*Sipping the Buckeye Kool-Aid since 1995
You win with people.
The defensive talent and coaching are still there. But playing D is harder when the O plays fast. As much as we made fun of the antiquated offense, it helped the D by lumbering down the field.
"I don't think you necessarily have to get a trophy to be a winner." - Nick Saban 1/2/15.
Please spare us your unbridled optimism. UM is: on the cusp of a qb controversy, breaking in a new offense scheme, testing an unproven play caller/coach, and lacking any semblance of a running back. They lost two of the best D coaches and three of the best D players in the nation. They have a zany/whacky coach. And no way the schedule is easy- at Wiscy after Army. Also, enjoy the night game at PSU. Notre Dame says hello. You could easily have two losses before Notre Dame comes to town. The only lucky thing about your schedule is you don't play Northwestern or Nebraska, because at least one of them would beat you this year.
Acceptable answer. I can get behind that.
Don't give them excuses
"I don't apologize for anything. When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes
I'm with you other than trying to make Wiscy look like a tough game
Thank you and very informative, I would honestly say that our teams are on a true collision course as both should be trending stronger throughout the season as new coordinators and players gel. Our programs should be firmly the best versions of themselves all season when they face each other. This should be a less then pleasant yet incredibly exciting (i.e. nerve wracking) experience. Unless weather really screws with our teams this should be a game more like 2006 - people doing big things ALL game on Both sides of the ball!
I would rather be on hand with 10 men then elsewhere with 10,000 - Timur Lenk
I would honestly say that our teams are on a true collision course as both should be trending stronger throughout the season as new coordinators and players gel.
And a new HC for you in Day. The honest truth, as much as most OSU fans and Michigan fans would despise, is that mostly, the other team respectively now has a coaching staff, facilities, and players that are talented and gifted and could succeed in either place on either team.
The point is, as last year made clear, Michigan was not going to beat OSU with it's talent and it's offense. And this year, at least on paper, Michigan won't beat OSU. I give Harbaugh credit for going in a new direction, because what he was doing wasn't working.
Michigan wins the offseason seemingly every year.
I wont be concerned until they win when it actually matters.
Which I don't get because Day has completely run circles around Harbaugh on the recruiting trail as of late. The only way they've "won" this off-season is through all the preseason rankings that have come out (which don't mean a damn thing) that have them winning the B1G and OSU finishing 3rd or 4th in the East.
I don't understand how a professional sports-knower could pick OSU to finish 3rd or 4th in the east. Surely they have access to rosters, recruiting rankings and so on. It's all good though
Urban Meyer >Jim Harbaugh for ever and ever, Amen. 0
One dumbass I remember picked us to finish behind both scUM and PSU in the East. As if PSU doesn't have issues of their own as a program. If any one of the top 3 East teams is likely to take a step back this year it's PSU. But the consensus is that Day as a first-time HC will get outclassed constantly by the likes of Harbaugh, Dantonio, and Franklin (lol).
They surely do have access to all those things.... but keep in mind, the media loves to hate OSU.
Exactly. Remember about this time last year with the Urban crap happening, a lot of the national media picked Wisconsin to win the B1G and make the playoffs... Michigan has a pretty thin and unproven D-Line similar to Wisky heading into last year. It's very hard to be dominant in college football without a dominant D-line.
It blows my mind how everyone seems to forget this, and still take professional CFP analyst predictions seriously. There should be nonstop video loops posted of everyone jumping on this bandwagon, but they’ve been completely let off the hook.
Which I don't get because Day has completely run circles around Harbaugh on the recruiting trail as of late.
In 2019, Michigan ended up recruited ranked 8 in recruiting, OSU ranked 14. So far in 2020, OSU is ranked 3, Michigan ranked 7. I expect Michigan to drop down to 9, 10, or 11 when all is said and done. The point is that they are in the same vicinity.
Regarding recruiting, I posted it elsewhere, but Michigan is at a distinct disadvantage in recruiting. There was an article today in the Free Press that touched on this.
2019 is critical for Michigan in recruiting in 2021 and 2022. If somehow Michigan can finally beat OSU, and make it to the CFP, they may turn the heads of more of the better talent out there. This will especially be true if Gattis' offense is lights out: that begins to turn the heads of some of the skill players out there.
I'm sorry, all I hear are excuses. They are at a disadvantage in recruiting because Harbaugh has underachieved at Michigan and floundered in every big game he's been in. Nobody's at fault for that but Harbaugh himself. There are no outside factors giving Day and Co. a leg up in the recruiting department. They've gotten it done on the field more than Michigan has and it's directly translated into recruiting. So all this talk about Michigan winning the off-season is still complete bullcrap. Michigan hasn't "won" anything and your coach put a huge target on his back at the media day with his comments about Meyer (don't think for a second that will go unnoticed by OSU).
They are at a disadvantage in recruiting because Harbaugh has underachieved at Michigan
26 - 5 against everyone in the Big 10 except OSU. Three double digit win seasons since 3 seasons where the combined record was 20-18. 73% of games in last 4 years are wins, good for number 10 nationally. 74% of conference games won in the same span, better than all but 4 power-5 teams in the country. What you are saying is that anything short of being in the CFP, anything short of beating OSU, is "undereachieving" for Harbaugh. That's partially true, but only partially. Michigan really has sucked since Rodriguez, and Carr was mailing it in the last few years as well. You aren't going to catch up quickly in those circumstances.
The problem? OSU has just been absolutely great. Meyer has been phenomenal, with multiple national titles. And OSU is not standing still, and not going to cede any ground to Michigan or anyone else. You are 100% right that Michigan hasn't won anything. The most important record? 0 - 4. And neither Harbaugh nor the team are hiding from that.
I'm too lazy to run the numbers, but Michigan recruiting has improved under Harbaugh. Not to the level of OSU, but much better than previously. In fact, the last 4 years, Michigan has averaged #11 in recruiting, and that is going up. If a team is in the top 10 in recruiting, and has a little bit of luck, they are going to be good.
Blu fan, your post is typical TTUNesque, last years recruiting didn’t have Fields In there, and we had a smaller class but going over the players, other than D Hill even you wouldn’t trade most our recruits for yours and this year, , come on, #3 currently and that includes a kicker, 4 wr’s in the top 150, 2 five stars so far to your 0. If your going to come on here spewing mirage like TTUN bs, don’t
In 2019, Michigan ended up recruited ranked 8 in recruiting, OSU ranked 14. So far in 2020, OSU is ranked 3, Michigan ranked 7. I expect Michigan to drop down to 9, 10, or 11 when all is said and done. The point is that they are in the same vicinity.
The only reason Michigan's 2019 class finished ahead was based on quantity. When you looked at quality, OSU's recruiting class was #2 in the country (average player ranking). In addition, having a bigger recruiting class in 2019 means you lost more seniors and transfers - which means replacing experience with youth. OSU brings back more experience this time around, especially on defense.
Blu, I upvote pretty much all of your comments, but this one is pretty biased. Despite the rankings being 3rd and 8th, there is a large gulf between the quality of OSU's and UM's 2020 classes. Any fan outside of the UM and OSU fanbases would say so as well. Frankly, Day really is running circles around Harbaugh in recruiting. Whether or not he runs circles around him on the sideline remains to be seen, though he did run circles around Harbaugh's defense last year.
You are probably right. At least mostly right. You can't really teach speed and athleticism. I will say that some coaches are better at finding talent that is overlooked by others. The OL is notoriously hard to rank in high school . . . some are so much stronger, it is hard to know how they'll perform against real competion.
All I'll say is that I kind of don't get OSU fans . . . you have had consistently great recruiting. The reality is that you SHOULD be winning almost every game, at least until you play someone like Alabama. With that kind of awesome recruiting, it should be expected that you would beat Michigan, and that it would be close to impossible for Michigan to beat you. And yet, all I hear is how Harbaugh perenially "underperforms," and has "done nothing" with the talent he has. The reality is that he has done very well against everyone EXCEPT for OSU. And given your coaching level and your talent level, why would you expect Michigan to beat you? (Regarding MSU, that was a blip, with a truly awful last second loss. And I don't see MSU regularly beating Michigan again.)
For Michigan to beat OSU, there are going to have to be some really lucky (or bad luck) things that have to happen. Michigan will have to scheme and coach in a way that OSU doesn't expect. Who knows: maybe Patterson exceeds all expectations, and with the RPO offense, is able to shred every defense. Maybe Fields is injured during the year, and your QB depth sinks you. Maybe freshman RB Charbonnet turns out to be a total stud, and does a great job at Michigan. Maybe one or two or your starters is charged and convicted of a DUI.
Regardless, ON PAPER, there is no way Michigan will beat OSU. You have great coaching, and an embarassment of player talent riches.
I 100% agree with you, on paper, OSU should almost always beat UM. But that won't stop UM fans from getting pissed when OSU wins and it won't stop people outside the rivalry from comparing UM to OSU. It's the built in nature of the rivalry. For UM to win, OSU will have to have a soul-crushing injury or two or the UM coaches will have to out-coach their OSU counterparts. And I include developing lower ranked recruits as part of that out-coaching portion. Harbaugh, being a supposedly great coach, should be able to pull that off at least once or twice in four years. Especially because UM fans will tell you that the gap in talent is not that large (see MGoBlog).
At the end of the day, OSU out-recruits UM because of their success and then beats UM because of their greater talent won on the recruiting trail. It's Harbaugh's job to start winning in one of those areas if he wants to break the cycle and so far he hasn't done either.
Excellent points, and I will add another. We likely have better athletes yet I am vocal as NOT always believing we are getting better football players (unless 7v7 becomes how the game is ACTUALLY played) - Your team has come close to beating ours on several occasions and I for one do not believe the talent level COMBINED with training/coaching is that different. Your team under the new regime does not look likely to lose to a middle of the road cross division opponent - your team is consistent and very machine like. Ours has been under Meyer an emotional avalanche, we either see a team up for the match up - much to your chagrin ALWAYS your team, or down yet rarely in the consistent middle ground.
Here though is where I believe the issue comes to a different light. Along with Larry Johnson we now have the other great teacher in the midwest on defense Greg M. and he certainly helped shape the tremendous consistency you have enjoyed on defense and one which I believe we will know as well. Maybe I am looking through Scarlet colored glasses yet this is as impressive a mixture of coaching talent as I have seen under one staff in my lifetime - K. Wilson is one of the great Offensive Coordinators, jury is still out on B. Hartline yet even you can appreciate what a true NFL receiver coaching clearly NFL talent is likely to bring this season along with solid running. You win with recruiting talented players and then coaches teaching that talent buying into those coaches philosophy - there is no more self fulfilling prophecy than this.
I wont be concerned until they win when it actually matters.
Yep. Which is basically against OSU.
It would also help the overall view of our league if you guys could win a bowl game that you really should by all rights. Especially against low-tier SEC teams
If Harbaugh actually lets go and Gattis can do his thing...I can see The Game being incredibly frustrating for the good guys. We'll win because we are more talented, better coached (IMO), and our defense practices against a QB who should be better at both passing and running than any of the guys at QB for TTUN so they won't be surprised.
But this is the type of offense where they can grind out 4 yards on a QB keeper like we used to do with JT. It'll be a game where they can hold on to the ball a lot longer.
In the end it will come down to talent and that's why we'll win.
To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
They have a really talented offense personnel-wise. We know what Warriner can do when solely focused on o-line, Patterson is their best QB in years, and they still have a very talented receiver group. I do not believe the lack of a true workhorse running back will mater as much, because they now have a system that should make a defense match-up man for man, mixing in lots of misdirection, so they should be able to run the ball effectively. Unless Gattis absolutely sucks, which I wouldn't bet on, they should be one of the best offenses in the conference. As for how we will match up in November, of course we have a lot of talent, but there are a lot of questions to answer before I am too confident.
I Hate Michigan.
They lost so much on defense, is the offense having their way with the defense because they are that much better or because the defense is that much worse?
Kyle, they say it takes a year to put a new offensive system in and have it humming. Do you think that is the kind of time frame we're talking here or do you think UM can come out guns blazing?
Never assume TSUN what will look like, Don't assume we will walk all over them either. I have seen many on here before saying things like that against far lesser teams, and it was us who got walked over. Though our defense should be better this year (cant be worse), they still have much to prove. I suspect by the time that last game of the season rolls around, TSUN will be rather good. As much as it pains me to say. I am hoping that we will be better. Stats, records and everything else they write on paper means nothing in The Game.
I know a lot of people just want to say, “Oh it’s Michigan, we’re still gonna best them, who cares.” But if Harbaugh truly lets Gattis have control into the season, this will objectively make them much better.
He has watched someone else run the offense his entire career. People say Day has never been a HC, but at least he has run offenses and been very successful at it. Gattis to this point has been a role coach...he now has to take a group that is built for a 1970's offense and convert them to a brand new offense in one offseason. It might happen, but everyone is jumping up and down about this guy having complete control solely because he came from Alabama. Same guy with same success and role comes out of NC State and we wouldn't be hearing about how great his offense is going to be year one, enough to propel them to a conference title and playoff experience, all while the defense has to be completely re-built as well.
Yep. To me, he was a position coach last year. I dont care about glorified titles; the offensive coordinator is the guy calling the plays.
Speed and space has already been deployed at 2 other schools and it’s been with mixed results, anything will be better than TTUN’S antiquated offense but just putting lipstick on Rosie O’Donnell is not turning it into J Alba
He was the co-offensive coordinator. It speaks to the amount of value Saban thought Gattis brought.
And it also speaks volumes that Saban passed on giving him the keys to Bama's offense.
To me that could be taken either way. Either Saban just wants a coach with a track record of calling plays. Or Gattis was doing something in practice that Saban didn’t like and had to keep correcting him on it and there for he doesn’t trust him. I obviously don’t know cause I wasn’t there.
As that great philosopher Mike Tyson once said, "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." The run game up north is suspect at this point and their QB will be taking hits when he pulls the ball to run. That means injuries and disruption of offensive continuity could be issues as those rotten-rat bastards get deeper into the fall. Go Bucks! Screw Blue!
So they're running the Spread with Power I personnel? That should be fun to watch.
Sounds like Rich Rod all over again.
Tom Brady lost to John Cooper. Never forget.
It takes a rugged QB to be able to run a spread/RPO offense. The QB takes a lot of hits over the course of the season. Guys like JT Barrett, McSorely and Braxton Miller took those hits and ran their offenses very well. I am not convinced that any of the scUM QB's are the type to endure a season of physical, RPO play. We'll see how their QB's hold up as the season progresses.
Yep, and it's not about JT and Braxton being so much tougher than Shea, it's about being experienced and used to the grind of running when called to do it often.
Look at McSorely - he wasn't bigger or tougher than Shea. But he had success running that offense because he ran it for several years.
I think this year’s version of the game comes down to the development of Justin Fields over the course of the season. If he’s able to develop to the point where he’s confident reading defenses and has the confidence in his passing ability to put the ball on target in a big game, I think we will carve their defense up once again. Don Brown’s defenses are always top 10 nationally, but the single high man they rely so heavily on gets exploited when the offensive weapons are fast enough to take advantage. Obviously with the way we recruit, we will have the weapons on the edge to create separation and run crossers much like we’ve seen the last couple years. I think it comes down to whether Fields has developed to the point where he can exploit the weaknesses of the Michigan D.
Spend your days doing what you love.
Re: The animated gifs.
A match-up between two bad teams can make for some exciting football.
Couple of things. I am curious of how accurate Patterson is. While he has a good arm, these RPO's require accuracy and quick thinking. If his accuracy/reaction time is not up to snuff, that is turnover city. Second, with all the losses and transfers on defense, how well is this defense going to hold up being on the field so long. They were 3rd in the country last year in time of possession. With that number likely to go the other way with a quick strike offense (or quick 3 an out offense), they will have to go much deeper into the depth chart than they usually do.
Bears...Buckeyes... Battlestar Galactica.
One caveat about those offensive "highlights": They are all against TTUN's defense.
What is it with TTUN and the "little brother" comments?
Nothing cleanses the soul like a no call pass interference.
I’ve enjoyed them sucking. I’d like to see them suck forever.
Jimmy’s faking mental competency. It’s a ruse!
It's easy to say now that this is his system, but Harbaugh has clashed with his coordinators in the past, including those like Tim Drevno and Pep Hamilton who had coached with him for many years prior. What will happen when Gattis can't unlock the secrets of Iowa's or Notre Dame's defense come October? Will Harbaugh continue to grant the same autonomy to a 35-year old, first-time play-caller?
That more-or-less sums it up as far as I'm concerned I would actually be surprised if Harbaugh does not interfere when things aren't going so well. And installing a totally new scheme - there will be times when things are not going so well. Then they'll be part Gattis' more modern system - and part Harbaugh's antiquated system. Quite likely, the worst of both worlds.
I'm also interested in a coach wanting to install more RPOs - just as college officiating is seemingly catching up with offensive linemen being illegally down field so often (when the pass option of the RPO is exercised). It may not be quite as effective now as it was when it was first (re)introduced in to college offenses several years ago - and officials were regularly missing that call.
By the way - great piece, as always, Kyle -
Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. - Will Rogers
just as college officiating is seemingly catching up with offensive linemen being illegally down field so often
I was noticing that in the video above. When Patterson throws the slant on a RPO, there are 1 or 2 OL's past the line of scrimmage.
Yeah, CowCat - I've read a few articles over the last year or so saying that the officials were finally going to start calling that more consistently.
Those RPOs are not going to be nearly as effective if the O-linemen are compelled to remain within a few yards of the LOS on passing plays - as the rules state. I've seen plenty of video of linemen much further down field - and not getting flagged.
If they really are going to enforce that this season, it sure seems like an odd time for the skunkweasels to finally be adding it to their offense. Pure Michigan -
Currently they don't have a RB1 ( maybe that changes if Zach Charbonnet comes in ready to go)... but that's still a maybe. Kareem Walker was going to going to be an All Big Ten RB1 there for 3 years as well and came in as a top 50 recruit just like Charbonnet and we all know how that ended.
If you don't have a RB1 then this system is going to put even more pressure on the QB to run and you just open up Patterson to more injury risk.
It's one thing to plug in a new QB to your offense but when you install a new offense with the wrong parts the history of college football and the NFL tells us that when it works there are growing pains... and it's usually a multi-year process when it does work..
Not to mention the talent level Bama > Michigan.. Gattis had all the pieces for a Ferrari at Bama... you can move these kids around all you want at Michigan and it's still pieces to build a top end Honda...
You tell and O-line to block one way for 4 years and then suddenly flip a switch and there will be breakdowns that leave the QB exposed... that with him having to run more I'd put money on Patterson getting injured at some point.
This is not going to end well....
There's a lot of unknowns. It could line up for Michigan, but I don't know . . .
if Zach Charbonnet comes in ready to go
Big if. However, RB is one position where Freshmen can make a huge difference. As for Walker, I think you (and ultimately UM) knew that was going to be a bust. Charbonnet is nothing like that.
It's one thing to plug in a new QB to your offense
Normally I'd strongly agree. With Patterson, I think he was pretty familiar with the RPO from Ole Miss prior to Michigan. They've been working at this since Spring Ball, so it is possible that this will work well for Patterson almost immediately.
You tell and O-line to block one way for 4 years and then suddenly flip a switch
I'd agree in many cases, but I think Warinner is not going to need to change hardly anything for this OL to run an RPO offense. And Michigan is returning 4 solid OL veterans who don't stink. First time in a long time for that.
If memory serves Charbonnet didn't practice in the spring. That's just a lot to put on a Freshman. Historically RBs can make a difference running the ball. My point was more about blocking and being able to run and play the position as a whole. The two guys at RB1 and RB2 right now are tiny. A BIG PART of RPO is having a RB who can pick-up a defensive player in pass coverage. Should be faily easy for Charbonnet to run between the tackles and leak out for a pass play. The harder stuff is picking up a blitz or knowing your responsibilty in pass coverage based on the read by the OLine.. again that's a lot for any RB1 learning a new offense.. even more so for a Freshman.. I'd imagine if he doesn't get touches or stays on the sideline or even red-shirts it will be the pass coverage.. that's just a tough ask..
And will see about the line. It's not the same blocking schemes and reads from the offensive line. The OC, QB and center all have to be on the same page. One mis-step from a lineman and Patterson has a broken collarbone or something.. if he's asked to run a lot he's just going to get a hit a lot this season.. especially early on..
I'm still sticking with my original take on this season. I think you guys drop a couple of games early and it's either going one or two ways from that point. The whole thing just goes bad as the offense takes time to gel and all the new guys on defense don't pan out and the two losses early just deflate the team to some sort of 8-5 or 7-6 season. Or you lose 2 early and thinks start to work and you end up a dangerous 2 loss team heading into the game..
Should be a fun season.. one things for sure... this is the first time there have been a number of national close to the program folks saying this is an important year for Harbaugh.. Not make or break but a long way from carte blanche he's had since he got there..
I think their offense will be better, but the bigger question is: will their revamped defense be able to stop us from putting up 70 on them?
You Got Barbecue Back There!?!?!?!
Like others have said...their offense will be better, but we are comparing that to the shit-show that it has been for several years now. I still like our chances come November.
So basically they are running an offense they criticized Ohio state for running.
Stay golden, Ponyboy.
I can’t stand M Dantonio but all we have to do is sit back and let him game plan MSU on shutting TTUN down, his defense is usually good for that
God not another Michigan article/thread. Can we DV this out or can the Mods nuke it? /s
This stinks of desperation. I think hairball is feeling the heat. If they struggle against a team with any talent, I think jimbo panics. Another reason to look forward to this season.
You know what would be sorta scary? A quiet Michigan. A Michigan team that says nothing: no trips that require booster shots, no "tours" or "revenge" campaigns. Just a team that gets to work that answers "We'll see on the field" when they're asked about their progress from last year... one that scoffs at "the winningest program" moniker (you know, like we all do) and adds "Well, that was history" as they tighten up their cleats and chin straps and take the practice field.
But no. They'll continue their bravado and beat the drum of their pre-color television greatness and we'll continue to beat them like a drum on the field.
Xichigan spring game highlights, PUKE
I have to strongly disagree that UM will have a top 5 defense this year. Number one by speeding up their offense they will have more plays on defense also. Last year they got away with only subbing a few dlineman because they were well rested before they returned to the field. What separates us from them is the second level and they don't have quality depth we have. They lost the heart of their defense and that will also set them back and man coverage (is Brown's bread and butter)spends more energy will also take a hit speeding everything up.
The problem they had last year was they had a "great" defense against inferior talent coupled with a "solid" offense against inferior talent. Whenever either unit ran into quality opposition, it was sorely exposed.
That great defense is now missing many players and sure, it could come back (to be fair, we've done so after kids graduating/getting drafted) - but they also lost much of their coaching staff. That should lead to a regression on that front. Maybe it won't - but only time on the field will tell.
The offense should get better, just due to experience. Installing a new scheme could play well into their hands and we'll probably see them look pretty good at the beginning of the year. Just like the defense, though, they'll have to demonstrate it against quality opposition before we should believe it.
As long as our defense gets better this year and our offense can play well, I still think we win.
'97 - Molecular Genetics
What's this??? They lost much of their defensive coaching staff? Where did they go??? Oh, that's right; they came to The Ohio State University.
So the offense is climbing out of the 1970's. About time, donchathink?? Time for the Silver Bullets to use their revamped, inside info defensive staff to work their magic on the maize and blue.
First crappy offensive outing, Hairbaugh will take the keys back from Gattis...
Exactly. It doesnt matter what Harbaugh says in the offseason. He'll be involved.
This is how little I pay attention to Michigan’s coaches outside of Harbaugh’s antics and Don Brown: until I read this article, I had absolutely zero prior knowledge that Josh Gattis is African-American.
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke
When you're six feet down and staring at blue sky there is nowhere to go but up.
I expect them to be more explosive on offense but also more turnover prone. You don’t change gears from a ball control, limit mistakes offense to a wide open spread attack without added miscues. Having an experienced QB helps.
One issue is their offensive line was not good last season once they faced a defensive line with a pulse. Patterson could be running for his life a lot if the quick reads on RPO’s aren’t there in the passing game. They’re also not that fast at the skill positions, so it won’t have the same effect as an Oklahoma or Alabama.
Bring it on bitches... our defense has been going against that offense for YEARS! We will be ready....
The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced
Is that the same top 5 defense that gave up a hundo in 2 games at the end of the season?
The Blu fan who posted at the top is in a MIRAGE. In D Brown’s 4 years, we have averaged 41.125 scoring on him. As to TTUN’S Ol and performances against us and Florida, Patterson, was running for his dear life, made bad passes/interceptions, and your OL was like watching us in a track meet in getting to your quarterback, quoting stats is meaningless, you faced OSU, ND and Florida and lost
Great post. This is why we play the games. We'll see if Brown adjusts or not. Several commments:
It's a slow day at *goblog I guess
i think this writer should have this article on Mgoblog.....
I am curious why so many people just assume that UM will have a top tier defense? I get that this has been the case the last few years, and Don Brown has put together great defenses(until they play us). But they've lost a ton of talent. Also, by shifting the offense philosophy, this may affect their ability to control clock, which also may negatively impact their defense. I can see them taking a huge step back defensively, while OSU should take a huge step forward defensively. Talent wise, OSU will always have more, but this year, I think the talent gap defensively is huge. Now it will come down to coaching and scheme.
I am curious why so many people just assume that UM will have a top tier defense
I personally expect the defense to take a small step back, but for this to be more than compensated for by the offense improving.
You don't lose that many players on defense and not notice it. Winnovich, bush, Gary, Solomon, and several more starters. That's a lot of dudes to replace on one side of the ball.
Doesn't mean you'll go from top 3 to 80th (although OSU is living proof that kind of drop is possible). But to expect even a top 10 defense seems like highly misplaced optimism unless you just beat up on terrible offensive teams, which U* has plenty of on this year's schedule.
I would predict U* scoring defense ends up around 15-20th. Possibly worse if their offense ends up being explosive and scores quickly, resulting in more possessions for their opponents.
"No we don't give a da*n 'Bout the whole state of *ichigan"
Thanks for the reply. I guess my basic point is that to say you guys will have a top defense is admitting that Brown is a superior defensive coach than anything OSU has. OSU has been out recruiting Michigan for years, and returns almost everybody. While I get they return guys to a defense that stunk last year, there is a ton of talent there, on paper, I’d have to say nore talent than Michigan. So basically when I read that you guys will just have a great defense, it’s basically the writer saying Brown is so good that he will just make it work. And maybe that’s what will happen, I was just posing the question.
Let me know when Jerry Jeudy, Tua, and Damien Harris transfer over with Gattis and then I’ll start to worry.
TTUN's offense will be better, but I don't think they have the talent to beat us in a shoot-out. If our defense improves I like our chances -- It would be difficult to be worse than last year.
Now if they only had Haskins or Fields to run their offense, then I might be concerned. Shea Patterson is not a dual threat quarterback. He has been successful as a drop back passer. He rarely ran with the ball. And when he did, he was not very good. By the time we play them, we will have them completely scouted and it will be a rough afternoon once again for the Michigan team! GO BUCKS!
I hope they struggle like crazy but let's not forget that Urban came in here and implemented his spread offense in one offseason and we quickly went 12-0 that year.
Outside of Braxton Miller we didn't really have prototypical RPO/spread guys on that offense. We had El Guapo-- a big and really good power running back but not your usual, quick back that you run your spread RPO with. I think our slot receiver was Jake Stoneburner...also not your typical slot receiver in a spread offense.
Jimmy and Gattis aren't exactly on Urban's level but it's certainly possible for them to make the shift from a pro-style offense to a spread/RPO system in a year.
So Harbaugh tried to install Stanford 2.0 for the last 4 years, now he has a roster of slow, big guys and he's going to suddenly go RPO? Don't see it succeeding until they get the right personnel in there.
Yeah and Tarik Black has been extremely fragile and injury prone thus far in his career. He's one of their fastest and shiftiest WRs. Just not sure they can count on him staying healthy for a full season, especially asking him to do what is required in a spread offense.
This from Eph97..
Exactly! Why worry??? Thank you kind sir for having common sense!
It is time!!!!!
*Ichigan fans: "It's a new offense, so it has to be so much better that we will beat a team that's STILL more talented, faster, and better coached...right?"
1. You don't lose as many key personnel on defense that they did and not take a noticable step backwards. That means more time on the field, less turnovers, worse starting position for the offense, and less offensive possessions. Oh and add the likelihood of giving up more points.
1a. The new offense will be practicing against a much less effective defensive unit. So sure, they're gonna be feeling pretty good about themselves when they beat up their own defense. The moment they face a better defense though they are gonna get a healthy dose of reality.
2. The first time Patterson scrambles and tucks the football and runs and forgets to slide, he's gonna get BROKEN by a linebacker barreling down at full speed. Dude does not scream toughness to me whatsoever and he's GONNA get hit in that type of offense.
3. The first time the new spread offense results in a turnover, Harbaugh is gonna do what Harbaugh does and start overriding Harris and then it's all downhill from there. In short, I'm not sure Harbaugh has the patience or attention span to stick with a completely new offense and the growing pains that inevitably come with it.
*Ichigan loses to Army, ND, and OSU and Harbaugh is chased to the NFL.
Autocorrect didn't like "Gattis" and changed it to Harris. ...
When even the machines are starting to override Gattis, that's saying something.
Good thing a lot of you are not on the staff. You would sleep walk into Michigan Stadium in November and get your ass beat.
We better take their offense seriously as well as worry about our own offense of line and QB, Both starter and backUp. AND right our defense!
You’re right. The fanbase better take their offense seriously otherwise the team might lose. Thats how it works, right?
It may help them, but I doubt they have the players for this around the field at the moment.
Keeping it simple.
Harbaugh said. “You run your system. You run the offense. Your verbiage. Your terminology. It’s fully in your control.”
So what does Harbaugh actually do? Shouldn't he be the system guru, the offense mastermind? Remember when he's the genius of prepping QBs for the NFL, none of that is real. Seems like he mostly recruits 3-star players that OSU doesn't want, loses big games, and alienates recruits because he's wacky and Harbaugh-focussed. Seems like he's hiring his offense and then will undermine it with his brand of genius. Maybe Gattis should be head coach, he's bringing something and won't be gone soon like Harbaugh.
Born A Buckeye
I am often asked.... What is the greatest Ohio State Football game experience ever?
I always answer, it was the Michigan-Appalachia State game, the sweetest game I ever watched. And they have not recovered since.
You know who the best possible coach for us to have in Michigan is? Harbaugh. Please never let him go.
Would rather have Rodriguez on the opposite sideline every day of the week and twice on Saturday’s instead of Harbaugh
The only question I have about Gattis is will he be around long enough to really have an impact at Michigan? In the last 3 years he's been at PSU, Bama and now Michigan. He's on the track to be a head coach somewhere, regardless of the level. Michigan is no more than a stepping stone for him to get where he runs his own program.
It's going to take Michigan 2-3 years to get the guys he really wants in his offense. After Patterson is gone, they have pro style QB's already on roster and they've signed/have committed 2 pro QB's in 19 and 20. Not to mention they're unknown at WR outside of the starters who will likely be gone after this year, have 1 quality RB (who is a true FR). In the last 3 classes (including 2020) they have 4 top 300 skill players. That will not be enough for his "speed in space" scheme.
"Come on, you sons of b!tches! Do you want to live forever?" -- Dan Daly, WWI
Didn't Michigan use to run the spread back in the RichRod days? I recall a lot of Michigan fans absolutely hating it and it was ineffective against a team like Ohio State. Harbaugh had no choice but to hire someone like Gattis because another season of "Bo Ball" would send the fanbase over the edge. How will the new offense work out? I have no clue, just like I have no clue how Day will pan out as a head coach.
Fear not my 11W brothers and sisters, this will be Harbaugh's last year in AA. This OC and "new" style of offense will work fantastically until that second to last week in November. Where the skunk weasels will lose triumphantly once again. The actual worry from a few gave me a nice morning laugh...
I don’t think anyone has said this. How long will that psycho take to insert himself back into playcalling after several 3rd/4th and short zone reads are blown up? He refused to run this offense for his entire career. I bet we see the fullback real quick.
You know who the best possible coach for us to have in Michigan is? Harbaugh. Please never let him go.
0-4 and liking it- My sentiments as well
Enjoying daily the 62-39 ttun beatdown.
I embrace all this preseason hype and talk about Mich. Go ahead, praise their reinvigorated offense -- the higher the fly, the harder they'll smack the concrete when they fall.
I just really can't wait for Ryan Day to stomp the shit out of their Weenie Hut defense.
Until I see Michigan play a few games this year, I'm more concerned about the night game in Evanston than I am about Ann Arbor at noon.
Sorry. 'Tis true yung homies.
If you die before you die, then you won't die when you die.
Call me old fashioned, but I'd like to see us line up on the first play against Michigan in an I-formation, run Power O with BB Landers being the up back.
Just as a nod to Woody, Bo, Tress.
"Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war."