Watching Oregon, I have to say I was a bit surprised. They do a lot more stuff than we do. Now, I realize that Denard is only a sophmore, and is making his first series of starts, but I really think we can do some of these things and they would make us even more explosive. Let me say at the start I'm not saying our offense sucks. I know people are going to say "500 yards against Iowa rabble rabble, one of the top offenses in the country rabble rabble." I would counter with A) we can always be better and B) rabble rabble right back at ya. Finally, I know UCLA isn't a good team, but that doesn't change that Oregon's offense was much more multi-faceted than ours appears to be, at least to my eyes.
1) Oregon does a lot more motion things before the snap. They will have a RB split out wide and motion him in next to the QB right before the snap. We put our RB's out wide sometimes, but it is always a pass play or a Denard draw. I think it adds another element of guessing if we sometimes motion them in to RB. They also have the RB switch sides of the QB right before the snap, again, giving a confusing look and a last second switch on some of the defenses reads and keys. I think these kind of things make defenses make late reads and adjustments and make us that much more difficult to defend. I really see no reason why we can't do this.
2) They do a lot more play action, particularly off the zone read. As others, including Brian, have said before, why don't we do more play action? It seems like we only do two PA plays, the Denard freak out throw to the slot, and the fake hand off roll out with a pulling guard as a blocker. What Oregon does often is do a play action zone read, and the QB stays in the pocket. Perhaps we don't do this because Denard isn't tall enough to sit in the pocket or something, but it is a really good compliment to the zone read and just adds another play action to the arsenal that makes us harder to defend.
3) The midline. Again, this has been talked about by Brian ad nausem but after watching it for the first time, seriously, why can't we do this. Oregon mixes it up, they do zone read playing off the end and then later will do it off the DT, and back and forth again. It just gives the defense one more thing to worry about and doesn't let them practice all week just playing with the ends and training the team what to do in that play. I can't comprehend our reason for not doing this.
4) Finally, and there is only so much Michigan can do about this, LaMichael James is a playmaker. He keeps defenses honest in the zone read because he is so explosive and talented. If Denard had anyone like that with him in the backfield, yikes. I know a lot of people are expecting and hoping for Dee to be this guy, and hopefully/maybe he is, but adding a RB like this will really take our O to the next level.
Besides not having James on our roster, we can do the first three. I'm baffled as to why we don't. First year, our offense just sucked, last year, our QB's were freshman. Most of our starters are in year three, and the QB's have had a year to learn the base offense, and should be capable of adding these wrinkles. I hope we start to be more versitile and less predictable, and I would love an explanation for why we don't do these things.