WTKA Roundtable 10/19/2017: Détente

Submitted by Seth on October 19th, 2017 at 11:13 AM

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[Marc-Grégor Campredon]

Things discussed:

  • Craig now sits between Ed and Brian, who get along. Craig is a bystander.
  • Offensive adjustments: more manball. Michigan went to a Harbaugh identity: 22 personnel and equal parts power and inside zone.
  • Higdon made yards, won the game with his OT run, which wasn’t even his best.
  • O’Korn: coaches gave him a freshman gameplan and avoided him as soon as they got a two-score lead. Coaches say he always wants to make the big play and a lot of coaching him is settling him down.
  • The bad man yelled: horrible PI wiped out a Fant interception, then Tom Allen flagrantly violated the “Just for Jim Harbaugh” rule to get 10 calls in a row to go his way (says Craig). Yes, Urban doesn’t get flagged for this either: it’s just Harbaugh.
  • Indiana pass pro success: got their RT back, used an RB to block Bush, which didn’t go well for them but went better than leaving Bush unblocked.
  • Stunt game should be shelved—just opens up running lanes. Too tricky. Mone effect means less pass rush too.
  • Speight earlier this season? Pressure, WRs, stopped seeing things and lost footwork.
  • Sam has a recap of his Brandon Peters take: no he’s not a whiff, he’s not bad, he’s not transferring, he’s not behind, he’s a freshman and the offense asks the quarterback to be very advanced before and after the snap. Sam Darnold was a different story: he came in and threw 2-yard passes to 5-star receivers as a freshman.
  • PSU: McSorley is a B+, Barkley is legit. This isn’t an national championship team but it’s a very good one that’s closer to challenging Ohio State than losing to Michigan.

You can catch the entire episode on Michigan Insider's podcast stream on Audioboom.

Segment two is here. Segment three is here.




October 19th, 2017 at 11:40 AM ^

Does anyone read Comments to the podcast post?

My "hot take" is that I think the passing game is failing because of the youth of the offense.  It's not just the QB.  I like JOK and think he CAN do well.  


However, the info that he gets really emotional/hot&cold/amped whatever is VERY troubling.  This offense needs a calm, cool collected leader until the rest of the youngins come around. JOK is a 5th year senior.  He needs to ACT LIKE IT.


That is all.


October 19th, 2017 at 1:09 PM ^

That almost every time he gets hit, he immediately starts calling for a targeting penalty. Comes off as weak and whiney, imo. Maybe John thinks his no-hit protection in practice is supposed to translate to games as well?


October 19th, 2017 at 2:08 PM ^

"The passing game is failing because of the youth of the offense"

I think there's a version of reality where this is true for Speight. The leaky offensive line made him jumpy. The youthful, mistake-prone WRs made him overly hesitant to throw. We've seen that he is capable of making good post-snap reads, of good pocket presence, etc. In this version of reality, there's a chance he comes back next year and gives us a + version of his 2016 self.

...But I don't think I see that with O'Korn. His problems in the MSU and especially Indiana games are just competition-insensitive bad quarterbacking. Locking in presnap. Making the obviously wrong calls on two man routes with max protect and a good pocket. Etc.


October 19th, 2017 at 11:48 AM ^

I trust the coaches but if we are giving JOK a freshman gameplan, why not play the RS Freshman.  I think the coaches think they can Tressel ball some wins with the defense.  Odds are they are way smarter than the fanbase but hurts to watch.  I'm hoping JOK has a chip on shoulder this weekend going home and plays like he did against Purdue.


October 19th, 2017 at 12:52 PM ^

It would be one thing for the coaches to make the wrong decision at QB for 1 or 2 games, maybe even 3 games. But we're now entering game 7, with 6 games of average to poor QB play. That tells me the coaches aren't making the wrong decision and that Peters probably isn't ready (best case) or not as good as his recruiting profile indicates (worst case).

If you look at his profile, he was a 4 star but his only other major suitor was LSU and LSU was still under the Miles regime. The next best offers after Michigan and LSU were Nebraska, Michigan State, Louisville and Virginia Tech. This list portends a good prospect rather than a great prospect.


October 19th, 2017 at 2:17 PM ^

Your take is similar to Brian's take.  But, its wrong.  The coaching staff is not giving JOK a "freshman gameplan."  They are giving him a "calm down" game plan.

The plays are designed to keep JOK from trying to make improv throws. It is geared toward run first and keep JOK from trying too hard to make big plays.  JOK still needs to know ALL the plays.

A "freshman gameplan" would be a much more limted set of the playbook.  Not just the passing plays, but ALL plays (pitches, reverses, etc.) are limited.  It wouldn't allow adjustments as much, it would probably be a max protect at all times.

That is not a minor difference.

If JOK knows 100 run plays and 100 pass plays, but the coaches limit it to 25 pass plays and a whole bunch of runs, that is one thing.  If needed (i.e., they are not leading) then the staff can expand on the pass plays too.

If the Peters knows 20 pass plays and 20 run plays, well..... that's it.

Plus, JOK has a lot more experience in the pocket, on the road, etc. when the ball is snapped.

That is why it is wrong to think the freshman gameplan is the same thing as the plan to keep JOK from turning the ball over if the running game is working.



October 19th, 2017 at 1:45 PM ^

Peters is not a freshman.  He is a red shirt freshman, which is a sophmore with freshman eligibility.  This may sound like nit picking, but it's basically making the point that they don't want to trot out a freshman with a complicated offense.  It glosses over the fact that he's been in the program for over a year.  He should not be at a freshman level of understanding regarding the offense.


October 19th, 2017 at 3:05 PM ^

I think the group was being a bit too pessimistic.  OSU is an elite team this year; Michigan and PSU feel closer than that, with PSU the better all-around team but Michigan having the superior defense and (perhaps) the leg up at ST.