After reading countless opinions from different sources, it seems to me that the central issue with this offense this season is that the coaching staff attempted to run a style of offense that the team was not very well suited to execute (particularly the line, but also notably Gardner, Funchess, Toussaint). The line couldn't generate much of a push and was abysmal at maintaining their assignments, Devin was typically late in his reads and misread defenses leading to a lot of early interceptions, and the other skill position players that were in tight couldn't handle their blocking assignments to say the least.
Once it became completely clear that they weren't be able to run the offense as they had originally intended, they in essense doubled down on the playstyle in what seemed to be an increasingly panicky personnel and scheme changes. Instead of adapting to the personnel, the staff:
- Swapped out the at-least-reliable-snapping Jack Miller, for Glasgow. Glasgow is admittedly a better and more powerful blocker, but he has killed several drives with bad snaps, and moving him only added to the problems at -
- Guard, where they had a revolving door that continued all through the season.
- Brought in more blockers who were unprepared and unable to handle their blocking assignments.
- Moved Lewan all over the formations, in ways that worked for a drive but then became unsuccessful as he principally took on lesser assignments while becoming a 6'8", 315lb "RUNNING HERE" flag.
Ultimately, as the season went along, they began to make changes that seemed painfully obvious, like spreading Devin out wide, or running bubble screens and using them as a constraint (although as it was the only thing that could work, it got ran into the ground, literally).
It didn't seem like the coaching staff wanted to make any changes that might make it more difficult to run their intended style until desperation set in. And it seems like it took the looming expectations of a blowout to OSU to finally make the basic change in scheme: going from a team that attacks the middle of the defense to open up the edges and deep routes, to a team that spreads the defense horizontally by attacking the edges and flats to open up the inside running game.
Borges obviously has a lot of leeway with the offense, but he has in the past orchestrated some fairly wide open offenses that spread the field with receivers in a way that he now seems allergic to.
Hoke, meanwhile, has maintained since he arrived that he felt that it was necessary to run that sort of pro-style running game in practice to toughen up the offensive and defensive front, where he believes games are won.
So the question is two-fold:
1) How much do you think Borges ran the offense as he wanted, and how much do you think he was handcuffed by what Hoke wanted to see run, especially against his own defense in practice?
2) Do you think the offensive struggles that occurred year-long, as well as the defenses inability to handle OSUs power rushing attack may have led to Hoke/Borges to abandon that belief to some degree?