We need an offensive coordinator, and Jim needs to go out a find the best available OC this offseason. I think its time to part ways with Pep Hamilton. There is a lack of creativity in play calling and play design. We need more passing spread and overall more modern offensive game plan which would maximize Patterson's skill set. Our recruiting is headed in the right direction, but we lack explosive athletes in the slot as of right now. I think Ronnie Bell can be that guy next year (hoping).
As far as Game planning, that was a terrible job both offensively and defensively. On offensive, we did not use nearly enough motioning and shifting which OSU defense has struggled with this year in the run game. Also we failed to put their linebackers out in space covering our players outside of that TD pass to Evans.
I would love for us to stop forcing Wide receiver screens to 6'4 receivers that are not really shifty or able to break tackles. Also speaking of screens, why do we throw more TE screens than we do screens to our running backs who can be explosive in the open field.
On defense, I LOVE Don Brown but he needs to adjust to what the team does before the game starts not after giving up 21 points. Everyone knew coming in that this would be the Best QB we would face so far and the best and fastest receivers, but we continued to go man to man against there crossing routes and could not get home with the rush. I may be wrong but I did not see any hands up with our D Line against there quick passing game. We need to be more multiple and flexible on defense especially when that team has 11 games of film to game plan against our defense.
First off all, I think we will have Patterson coming back and he will be more comfortable in the offense. The offensive line will return 4 players that will continue to get better. I think our running game could be even more explosive with a better OC. What we need is better TE play, McKeon has been a disappointment all year and Gentry was surprisingly bad today dropping two catchable balls, one that could have been a TD. We also need more explosiveness in our receivers after the catch. The receivers are rarely are wide open or breaking tackles after the catch.
We need better play at the Safety position. Muetellus is getting better, but Kinnel as been a liability all season, and is always late to the ball in passing situations. I doubt both of our corners come back next year but this was the first time they were really tested and they immediately went after Watson all game. I think both Hill and Long played ok today from what I saw, and hope at least one of them comes back next year. Hudson made no impact plays today, and that Viper position has not looked all that special at all these season, and honestly has not looked special since Peppers (for obvious reasons). More rangy explosive Linebackers like Bush in the front seven will be needed going forward. Teams continue to put our linebackers in space against running backs and the only one that could handle that responsibility recently has been Bush.
In final, I think Jim Harbaugh has done a hell of job getting our team out of the pathetic abyss that struggled against teams like Akron, Rutgers, and Toledo; he will need to improve the offense to become championship level in the future. By improving that offense, I mean (1). An actually OC that is not Pep. (2). More modern offense that puts our athletes into space. (3). More explosive WRs, especially in the slot. (4). Better play calling and play design in the pass game.
That is my two cents.