A Few Offensive Observations

Submitted by MGrether on September 6th, 2010 at 10:57 AM

First, and most blatently obvious, is the level of success the offense had. That goes without saying, as the stat sheet (along with a ton of other posts & replies) have thoroughly covered the topic.

A few minor details I found to be of interest:

1) O Line Blocking: When doing our read-option and zone schemes, our blocking was fabulous. Our big boys can MOVE, were double teaming/releasing well, and were easily getting to the second level. On runs that we were plowing straight ahead, however, our blocking began to suffer a bit. The one linemen that seemed to have his hands full all day was Omemah. In the first 3 quarters, he seemed to struggle taking on the bull rush from his 315+ counter part. In the fourth, he began to win the battle. I LOVED the intensity and tenacity the whole line showed all game.

2) Blocking from Everyone Else Under 260 Pounds: You can tell almost everyone has bought in to doing their role to make this team win. WRs getting out and blocking CBs and Safeties. Denard getting out in front of his RB and throwing blocks. RBs stepping up and taking out linebackers. My favorites are the QB draws then the linemen have decimated the DLine, there is a massive hole with one linebacker who gets all excited that he is going to make a play. In rushes the running back, who seals him off/plows him backward... and then it is Denard off to the races. As the saying goes, downfield blocking makes the difference between first downs and touchdowns. We have some great down field blocking. The one TINY TINY nit pick is Stonum. There were 2-3 occasions that he did not seem to be going full speed, and was in position that if he had worked for a block instead of jogging, it would have sprung a bigger play. However, this is nit picking. As a team, they were ALL IN to their downfield blocking.

3) Passing. Man, this was a thing of beauty. The WRs did a great job of reading the zone coverage, finding holes and sitting in them. The route running was much more crisp, and everyone seemed on the same page (with no drops either). Denard Robinson was just zipping them in there, and hitting them on the money. Art in motion. One area for improvement is Denard Robinson staring down receivers. Now, he is light years better then he was last year... but if he keeps this up, our WRs are going to get themselves killed... ala Roundtree. UConn was starting to jump routes and laying wood. Something to watch out for and improve on.

4) Play Calling: Overall, brilliant. There were only 3-4 times that I shook my head wondering what on earth were they thinking... and now in looking at the highlights, it may have been only 1-2. UConn was guessing the whole game, and whatever choice they made was almost always wrong. It was almost unfair. Using certain plays to setup others. Burning them when the D was playing soft. Burning them with the D tried to turn on the heat. Really just burning them all game long. Kudos to the coachs, especially when dealing with a really windy/cold day. I know in the fourth they went pure Vanilla...  and really for most of the game they went with their bread and butter. We are going to force teams to play 60 minutes of sound, fundamental football at all levels... or else other teams are going to get royally burned by the play calling & execution. How wonderful it is to think, "I wonder what this play is going to be" and not have a clue what is coming.

5) Read Option: Man, Denard did a lot of work over the summer. Only 2-3 times did I see plays that I thought "He should have kept that" or "He should have handed it off." He made great reads, and burned the defense consistently as they were forced to pick their poison.

We have a lot to look forward to as fans. There are a few kinks to work out, but what team doesn't have those. It is even more exciting to look at how young this group is, and what talent is coming in to join them.

It is GREAT to be a Michigan Wolverine!



September 6th, 2010 at 11:31 AM ^

One thing I saw about bubble screens:  I really didn't like when we ran bubble screens to a slot guy who was next to Odoms.  He's a good downfield blocker, but I would prefer a true outside receiver for those screens.  Also it was looking like Jeremy Jackson was coming in just to block on screens and runs.

Black Kerouac

September 6th, 2010 at 12:17 PM ^

On the 30+ yd. TD run, both Smith and Shaw picked up key blocks to spring Denard. Shaw took out a crashing DE on the 3rd down conversion slant to Stonum, and Vincent Smith took out a LB when Denard converted that 3rd and 16 (!!). I watched the replays in slow motion and took a lot of still photos, and the RBs seemed to make the blocks they needed to make every time...and not only did they make the blocks, but they were really good, solid blocks that opened crazy running lanes for Denard.


September 6th, 2010 at 2:04 PM ^

Offensively there were very little flaws.  The entire team is in great shape (Thank you Mr. Barwis).  The offensive line was light years ahead of where its been the past two seasons.  Anytime you don't allow a single sack, as a coach, you're generally happy. Couple that with the fact that there were no false start or holding penaltys and you're insanely happy.  The WR's were very sure handed (Denard putting them all on the money may have had something to do with this).  Running backs did a solid job with and without the ball.  My only negative for them was a little too much east and west running.  Was very pleased with the play of our tight ends.  And the quarterback production speaks for itself.  Di-lithium.  Should this offense maintain form all season long teams are going to give up a lot of points to us.  Incredible first win.  Here's to many more fellas!!

Super J

September 6th, 2010 at 3:40 PM ^

I agree with the nitpicking of Stonum.  At least twice, he was pushed right in the way by the corner.  He was in place to make the block but didn't win the battle and Denard ran into his back.  I am sure they will address this after watching the film.