Football Practice - Just focus on next opponent or divide it up?

Submitted by Yessir on December 12th, 2018 at 10:34 PM

If you were the coach and had to divvy up who to devote practice time to, what would you do? 

We play Rutgers next week and OSU the following week? 100% on Rutgers? 

Our week one opponent is a non conference and a team and are favored to win by 35pts.  Do you spend some time on The Game? 

From most everything I've read and heard this year the team was focused on next weeks opponent and that's it.  I don't know if that's the truth, but thoughts on what we should do going forward, IYO. 

Doesn't seem like a loss to Purdue hurt much this year as long as you win the game.  I think we've improved enough (10-2) to pretty much know we can take care of most of our conference without spending 100% of practice time on next weeks opponent.  I'm ready to take a chance and spend some time every week practicing for the game. 

Prolly been discussed a ton already, but I was gone for a bit.  Didn't seen it. SIAP

Go Blue!



December 12th, 2018 at 10:40 PM ^

Correct!  The Coaching Staff did game plan and prepare for OSU.  The problem was it was a HORRIFIC game plan.  That is just a objective fact that goes along with a historic loss.

Ohio State clearly had a game plan to attack our weaknesses and exploit them.  Our game plan seemed to be "We are gonna run the exact same plays, in the exact same percentages (run vs. pass), and we don't think you can stop us even though you have superior athletic talent and recruits compared to us".  

OSU= Great game plan

Michigan= Great game plan if it was 1978.  Bad game plan for 2018


December 12th, 2018 at 11:40 PM ^

Someone did a personnel analysis the other week. It showed pretty clearly that Michigan called a run play pretty much every time there were fewer than 3 WRs on the field, and something like 40% of the time there were.

OSU could tee up against the run. Space Coyote did a good job convincing me that Michigan did add tweaks. But they also took away RPOs, zone read keepers, and pre snap motion.

For the life of me I can't imagine any sane explanation for our offensive (yes, both meanings) game plan. Pete Carroll had a better rationale for the last play of the Super Bowl.

Monkey House

December 13th, 2018 at 6:21 AM ^

For the 7,000 time, the offense didn't lose the osu game. The defense was exposed and completely out coached and out schemed.  Why do people on this blog have a hard time putting any blame on the defense?? Both loses this year was by the defense,  not the offense.  Is the offense great? Nope. But if you the #1 defense in the country then 17 or more points should be enough. 


December 13th, 2018 at 8:06 AM ^

Agree to disagree, respectfully.

The offense and the defense both shit the bed. When it was clear that we were going to give up a lot of points, it would have been nice if the offense seemed capable of recognizing or participating in a shootout. 

To your point, just because 17 is enough (personally, I can't disagree more since, say, 2001) doesn't mean we should TRY for 17, or be capped at 17.


December 13th, 2018 at 8:31 AM ^

Clearly the coaching staff fully believed that the defense could hold OSU in check. Subsequently/consequently they went all in on the offensive game plan that was employed. Here,  "what if" is ruthlessly ridiculed...and justifiably so. Nevertheless, it would be most interesting to see how this game plays out if Gentry makes a couple fairly routine catches. These games turn as much on making the routine plays as making great ones...and when you do neither...disaster ensues.  


December 13th, 2018 at 6:29 AM ^

As with anything, there of course is a sane explanation. You just have to be willing to look at the situation from a different point of view.

U-M's approach suggests two things: They wanted to limit turnovers and they figured they could win the same way they’d been winning all year. All of that is understandable if you’re operating on the assumption that the defense—which did fine against OSU the past two years—would hold up.

Obviously, that was a poor assumption. But remember again that the coaches don’t know that, and that they also know that the last time they were in Columbus, they would’ve won if not for the turnovers. From that standpoint, the approach is logical. 


December 13th, 2018 at 12:58 PM ^

 We scored 39 points the problem wasn't the offensive game plan. Their offensive game was throw to whoever Brandon Watson was covering, unfortunately they were open every single time. I think like how we were surprised by Wimbush being able to throw a completable pass, we were surprised when the OSU receivers caught one. I don't see why they didn't pull Watson for a speedier Corner after he got burned so often and so badly the entire first half. Go back and look at every big play OSU had in the passing game and you'll see number 28 in the frame.


December 13th, 2018 at 9:28 AM ^

The thing is, no matter how hard you try and emphasize the game, these kids of never had the feeling of beating OSU. You hear everyone talking about how important it is to them, but I get the feeling it just doesn’t feel quite like a rivalry to them. It’s quite possible they remember Michigan only beating Ohio State once in their lifetime, and quite a few blow outs to be honest. The pressure is on OSU every year to keep this streak and huge disparity in the rivalry. It’s literally what fuels them and they do anything to win it. To us it’s seems like “darn we lost again, oh well try again next year and if we lose then, oh well try hard again”. One win is all they need to start to really believe and buy in.


December 12th, 2018 at 10:37 PM ^

Staying focused on next game, especially when the next team sucks, is bs coach speak. The players look ahead and the coaches do as well. I believe that Harbaugh tries to tell the guys to get better every week and not look ahead and doesn’t throw Osu stuff in. This is not working and needs to change. Or, I’m wrong and they do have Osu stuff each week. 


December 13th, 2018 at 7:50 PM ^

This 100%


As a coach, if your biggest game is the last one then every week there is something that the team you will be facing does that is similar to OSU. It is emphasized and focused on without taking away from that weeks gameplan. 


Sometimes its the Jimmys and Joes, not the X’s and O’s. But in this case it was both. 


December 12th, 2018 at 10:41 PM ^

I thought this was a football practice update. Not a give your opinion thread. Is there any information on our program right now besides depressing information (players getting kicked off team or players decommiting)?

You Only Live Twice

December 12th, 2018 at 10:44 PM ^

Prepare for each game, prepare for THAT game

Open up the offense, simplify the offense

Defense wins championships, scoring points is the most important

Send in the backup QB.  Call the first down play or the touchdown play or the third down stop, or else the playcalling sucks.

There is no way on earth coaches can make everyone happy even if they win, forget it if they lose, I sure hope they don't care what fans think.

Mason Jarhead

December 12th, 2018 at 11:38 PM ^

not sure how much daily practice time is allotted in college but I would definatly dedicate a short portion each day or a longer portion once each week to prepare for certain "plays and formations"  not sure I'd ever say it's for any specific team... and it would always be their "plays and formations"


December 13th, 2018 at 12:01 AM ^

I just wish someone would come out and say, "Yeah, we want to go to Indy, but we really want to beat Ohio State". I want to hear that they think about them besides before the week of the game. Call it cliche but OSU is always mentioning us even in weeks we don't play them. You can't deny what their focus is. Time to stop being above the "obsession" stuff. The only way to correct this is to fight fire with fire.  


December 13th, 2018 at 2:53 AM ^

It depends how good your team is.  If you are Alabama, you play how you always play and dare everyone to stop you.  If you’re MSU, you gameplan for each team and throw in fake field goals and other crap in an attempt to even the odds.  

I mean that’s what OSU did, they came into the game really not caring what we were going to do and just decided they were going to execute their game to perfection.  That’s what good teams do.  Of course stopping repeated runs up the middle doesn’t take much preparation but I digress...


December 13th, 2018 at 3:00 AM ^

If you watched College Gameday they interviewed Urban Meyer and he said they gameplan for us from Day 1 of training until the day of The Game.  If we want to win then we need to do the same.


December 13th, 2018 at 6:05 AM ^

You beat Ohio State by becoming a better team. People keep worrying about whether the team thinks enough about beating them but obviously Hoke put a lot of emphasis on it and he was 1-3 with the only win being at home against a mediocre OSU team and Michigan barely hung on for that one.


December 13th, 2018 at 7:46 AM ^

They are not going to have a lot of time to look ahead. While the schedule sets up better 3 of the last what 5 or 6 games are rivalry games. If anything you almost wonder if each week you do an "osu hour" to do mini preps, essentially. That does help strategically but it is more of a mental thing. 

Overall you focus on the next game. 


December 13th, 2018 at 8:18 AM ^

Let it rest.  All the practice in the world does no help if you expect a team to play poorly but instead play their best game of the season.

We need better athletes, that's all. 


December 13th, 2018 at 8:21 AM ^

I'd say the "better team" being OSU should take it one week at a time. They overlooked Purdue and that game kept them out of the playoffs. 

Michigan, being the underdog in the rivalry (despite being favored this year), can afford to drop one of the trap games if it helps beat OSU, since our goal right now should be beating them and winning the division, not the playoffs. 


December 13th, 2018 at 8:46 AM ^

You can bet your sweet bippy that both Woody Hayes and Bo teams were high on beating teams with execution and adherence to fundamentals. Think about it, Their mantra was running the ball and they didn't care how many people were stacked in the box. Hell, they would run against all 11 in there. Wisconsin does that even today. Harball is attempting do do that, cep't with more passing mixed in.

While the game today has changed the teams that win still adhere to these plans. Add to that the game plan for each opponent and the higher emphasis for faster players you have the makings of a good team.

now in the case of "the Game" both Woody and Bo started practicing for the game the first day of spring practice. They started preparing for it the day after the Game.

JMO but I think you start preparing for all games with attention to execution and  fundamentals. Add some plays designed not only to beat the next opponent, but also some plays to beat the Notre dames,  Buckeyes, and Spartans. Against he latter you need to do some practice early enough for them to be executed when game time comes.

As to this years debacle the Buckeyes executed better no doubt in part because of the game plan of Harball. However they just plain executed better. On the D side there seemed to be no answer for Young, Jones and Harrison and on the O it was the same with WR speed and the passing of Haskins.

I guess my 3 minutes is up so I say divide it up accordingly.




December 13th, 2018 at 9:51 AM ^

I think it would be prudent for us to spend a small segment of each practice dissecting ohio state.  I would chart all of their blitz pickups, all of the stuff they struggle with vs each opponent, and I would chart all of their tendencies.  As the season progresses I would slowly implement a game plan.  


We can beat them, we just haven't put the same amount of effort into beating them as they do to beat us.  


December 13th, 2018 at 12:01 PM ^

Until Michigan starts winning against OSU, and really knows how to beat them, I think it makes sense to spend a little time on them every single day.  It's that important to the success of the team.  Beating Rutgers by 30 instead 50 is irrelevant.


December 13th, 2018 at 12:58 PM ^

Let's consider the playbook as 100% for OSU.  What percentage of that can be withheld throughout the year to reasonably guarantee getting to OSU undefeated?