Football Study Hall has an article up on West Virginia's offensive woes. I thought it relevant to MGoBlog because the question the author asks is quite similar to the questions being asked about Michigan and Borges: what is the problem with the offense? Who is to blame?
His conclusions, based on his analysis of the Kansas game, will sound awfully familiar to us:
The lack of inside running or downfield passing meant that, apart from the first and last two drives of the game, the Mountaineers had no effective base plays off of which they could build big-play constraints. Holgorsen and Dawson attempted to reassert the ground game in the second half, but poor line play and the inability of the offense to punish cheating defenders rendered this strategy almost dead on arrival. Short gains on first down led to repeated second-and-long and third-and-long situations.
His conclusion is that Holgorsen shouldn't be fired, that the schemes are sound but that
An accumulation of lackluster recruiting, graduated players, and injuries have depleted West Virginia’s roster. The current mishmash of players lacks consistency more than anything else, making Holgorsen’s job a difficult one. That said, he must work on the run game for the rest of the season and the off season in order to overcome his depth issues.
Again, this sounds familiar, albeit with some small tweaks. But certainly the lack of consistency has been one of the chief symptoms of Michigan's current offensive ills.
For me, what's interesting is that Holgo is the architect of a very trendy offense -- the Air Raid -- that comes Smart Football-approved, but ultimately he has the same problems that a more traditionally-oriented Al Borges offense does: can't run inside, can't pass downfield.
This isn't an exoneration of Borges, of course, because one could always argue that Holgo is working with much less than Borges is (WV's recruiting rankings have been in the low 20s and low 40s over the past four years). On the other hand, it does tend to illustrate that bad offenses can share the same problems even when they're diametrically opposed in terms of their philosophies.