ohio state blogs will post literally anything
While the excitement over the firing of Al Borges and subsequent hiring of Doug Nussmeier to the offensive staff has risen the spirits of the fanbase, there's only one way to maintain this level of exuberance: Winning. Often. It takes outstanding performances on both sides of the ball in order to do this, though. While Borges failed to do his part in several games, there were other games where the opposite side of the ball made his job a lot harder than it had to be. i.e.) Akron (YES! I said it! No reason we should need to score more than 17 pts to beat Akron), Penn St, Indiana, Ohio St, Kansas St. As an offensive coordinator your job is tougher when you're forced to win shootouts. The reason teams like Alabama and this year's FSU have been so dominant is because their defenses don't force their offense to have to score 40 points to win, at least not very often. Everyone knows how 'Bama's defense has performed in their recent run. This year's FSU was 3rd in Total defense, 1st in Scoring defense giving up only 12.1 ppg (MSU gave up 13.2 ppg).
Upon arriving at Michigan in 2011, Mattison started out red hot with the 8th defense in the country giving up 17.2 ppg, 317.6 yds/g. We saw decline in 2012, dropping to a still respectable 17th defense in the country giving up 18.8 ppg, 311.2 yds/g. Which leads us to 2013, Michigan finished 41st in total defense giving up 26.8 ppg (66th in the country). Ouch. After the Indiana game, I know many weren't concerned given the dynamic's of the Hoosiers' offense. By season's end we saw the UM defense get gashed time and time again. While most of the year's blame has fallen solely on the gorgeous one, Greg Mattison's defense did not hold up it's end of the bargain, either. I, for one, will be going into the 2014 season with my eyes on that side of the ball instead of just giving a free pass because of his name. We expected Borges to make in game adjustments to stop the bleeding, the same should be required of GMat. Not to take any blame away from Borges, but do you know what makes an inexperienced OL's job easier besides a new OC? A dominant defense.
With that said, which coordinator do you think will be under more pressure to perform? My answer is clear. Let's discuss and #GOBLUE
Like most people, I was not expected much of a QB competition this spring. It seemed like it was Gardner's job to lose, barring injury. Now that we have a new pro-style OC coming in, without any history with either QB, I think it could open the QB competition in the spring. Shane Morris obviously has a lot of talent and showed good poise during the bowl game. However, if Nussmeier is as good of a QB developer as advertised, we might finally see Gardner reaching his potential, like we've seen in a few games the past two years, more consistently. Do you all think Gardner still has a big lead on Morris this spring?
Have your feelings changed for the upcoming season?
I was glad the season ended but as soon as Borges was let go, it felt like a weight was off the shoulders but there was still an uneasy feeling with the vacant position.
I, for one, am very excited now and there is a fresh and new feeling of hope.
86 days until the spring game.
I'm sure this is on it's way from official sources, but here are some interesting bits about our new OC, who apparently has been dubbed "The Nuss" by other sites:
- From Alabama blog - Gumpin' on Saturday:
There’s no question that the offense has opened up more under Nussmeier. Alabama’s bread and butter in the passing game are still shallow and intermediate routes, designed to attack the linebackers in space, but their use of vertical passing concepts has increased under Nussmeier. As a matter of fact, I actually wrote about this before the season. Nussmeier really seems to favor three verticals, typically with all three receivers (or two receivers and a tight end) lined up on the same side of the field. It has been tremendously effective, both due to the execution on the field and the timing of the play call. From a play calling standpoint, Nussmeier really seems to have a great sense for when a team is vulnerable on the back end, and that has proven quite valuable during his two years here.
I think Nussmeier has done a very good job thus far as a recruiter. He certainly isn’t the Tide’s top assistant in that area, but that’s to be expected considering he has never coached in this part of the country before and simply does not have the same connections that some of the Tide’s other assistants do. And I think that showed last year, when, according to Rivals, he was only responsible for directly recruiting two members of Alabama’s class, one of which was a quarterback from Utah. But the improvement from last year to this year has been dramatic. Up to this point he has been directly responsible for securing the commitments of a top running back (Bo Scarbrough), top wide receiver (Derek Kief), and top quarterback (David Cornwell), to go along with a few others.
- At least one site (thebiglead) recommended him to be the USC HC before that position was filled. In addition, many tied him to the Washington HC position as well.
Why waste time going after Kevin Sumlin (probably NFL-bound) or Chris Petersen (how many schools does he have to reject before people get the picture?), when you could poach a guy who knows the West Coast and knows offense?
- Q & A with Nuss via their local ABC site:
Coach Nussmeier, occasionally we've seen Alabama come out, no huddle, and kind of spread things out a little bit with a high tempo right out of the gate, and Nick Saban said postgame that we were looking to get the fatigue started early. Obviously you can't comment on what the plan is for this week, but can you just remark on the value of coming out at up tempo, no huddle?
"Well, you know, I think if you look at college football in general, that's a growing trend, no-huddle offense, speed, hurry-up. As any game you play, the ability to change the tempo of the game offensively or defensively can create a competitive advantage for you, if it's useful in the game you're playing."
- From Saturday Down South, an SEC blog. Nuss is listed as the number one assistant in the SEC who is ready to be a head coach:
Buzz: I’ll argue the one coach on the Tide’s coaching staff most ready to become a head coach is Doug Nussmeier over Kirby Smart. Nussmeier came from Washington, and his offense scored the most points per game (38.71) of any Bama team since 2001. Nussmeier is ready to become a head coach after 2013.
- Kirby Smart on working with Nuss:
McCarron said it's been a "cool experience" working with Nussmeier, and Tide defensive coordinator Kirby Smart appreciates the challenges being presented daily on the practice fields. Smart won the 2009 Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant coach, and his defense last year was No. 1 nationally in every major statistical category.
"They give us a couple more personnel groupings, more than Coach McElwain used," Smart said. "He does a really good job with the kids. He's a lot like Coach McElwain. He and Jim McElwain come from similar backgrounds, so there's a lot of carryover there. They both do a good job in the passing game and are both very innovative.
"They've got an answer for everything that you do, so it's always a chess match."
Courtesy of Rivals here is the list of recruits that Nussmeier is considered the "lead" recruiter:
|Ronnie Clark||ATH||6-3||205||4.59||1/17/2014||Calera, AL|
|David Cornwell||QB||6-5||235||12/13/2013||Norman, OK|
|Keith Holcombe||LB||6-4||209||1/17/2014||Tuscaloosa, AL|
|Derek Kief||WR||6-4||199||1/17/2014||Cincinnati, OH|
|Bo Scarbrough||ATH||6-2||222||4.5||1/17/2014||Bradenton, FL|
|Roderick Bernard||WR||5-10||175||Houston, TX|
|Nick Holman||LB||6-2||227||4.66||Madison , AL|
|Marlon Humphrey||DB||6-0||168||1/24/2014||Hoover, AL|
|Tyler Luatua||TE||6-4||230||11/8/2013||La Mirada, CA|
|Josh Malone||WR||6-3||195||Gallatin, TN|
|Dailyn Patton||DE||6-1||257||Northport, AL|
|Malik Rosier||QB||6-2||193||Mobile, AL|
|Tyler Swindle||OL||6-5||295||Hayden, AL|
I doubt we have a chance with the Alabama kids but some of the out-of-staters may be up for grabs. I remember Bo Scarbrough being on Michigan's radar and he's yet to take his official visit.