this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
One of the most common short yardage plays used in all levels of football but we seem to have major issues executing it. We saw it last year (not to be spoken of), with UMass, and again today with the fumbled snap. It's clearly a pretty standard call but we have horrible luck with it.
Why do we keep going to this play when the inside zone with Denard is a guaranteed 2-3 yards?
I haven't seen this discussed around these parts, possibly because it is not 100% new to RR's offense at Michigan, but they showed quite a bit of I-Formation (I believe typically with 3 WRs) during the Spring Game with Tate under center.
I like seeing this for several reasons:
1) Maybe you don't like it but I love the old school feel of the I-Formation. As much as I think the spread can have success, I don't believe in the death of any "traditional" offense. If only they threw in an off-set FB in there it would be like watching the good ol' days, which is always nice.
2) I think it can really effect a defenses mentality. The I-Formation can have significantly different reads than the typical shotgun spread look. It also allows for different plays because of the RBs position in relation to the QB, allowing him to be heading down hill at the point he receives the ball. This will be great in goal line and short yardage, as well as several first down plays and when we are trying to run the clock out (that's assuming we execute better than last year at Illinois).
3) I think it allows us to use the play action to much greater affect. This should increase TE production if they are on the field when it's being run. This play action feel with boots is run out of the shotgun as well, but the motion of the QB in the I-formation is another thing that changes for the defense, possibly slowing their reaction times.
4) If we do it successfully it is another element opposing defenses must account for.
5) If we continue to run it, it can dispell any rumor that RR doesn't create players for the next level, or never puts QBs under center, so on and so forth.
That being said, I only saw Tate run this, and don't believe Denard ever did. It's probably because the shotgun plays more toward Denard's strengths than the I-form, but I found it interesting and wonder if Denard is getting many reps with it.
I would also like to know how much and to what success RR has ran this previously, if anyone has any know in the situation.