Submitted by Space Coyote on April 19th, 2010 at 11:52 AM

I haven't seen this discussed around these parts, possibly because it is not 100% new to RR's offense at Michigan, but they showed quite a bit of I-Formation (I believe typically with 3 WRs) during the Spring Game with Tate under center.

I like seeing this for several reasons:
1) Maybe you don't like it but I love the old school feel of the I-Formation. As much as I think the spread can have success, I don't believe in the death of any "traditional" offense. If only they threw in an off-set FB in there it would be like watching the good ol' days, which is always nice.
2) I think it can really effect a defenses mentality. The I-Formation can have significantly different reads than the typical shotgun spread look. It also allows for different plays because of the RBs position in relation to the QB, allowing him to be heading down hill at the point he receives the ball. This will be great in goal line and short yardage, as well as several first down plays and when we are trying to run the clock out (that's assuming we execute better than last year at Illinois).
3) I think it allows us to use the play action to much greater affect. This should increase TE production if they are on the field when it's being run. This play action feel with boots is run out of the shotgun as well, but the motion of the QB in the I-formation is another thing that changes for the defense, possibly slowing their reaction times.
4) If we do it successfully it is another element opposing defenses must account for.
5) If we continue to run it, it can dispell any rumor that RR doesn't create players for the next level, or never puts QBs under center, so on and so forth.

That being said, I only saw Tate run this, and don't believe Denard ever did. It's probably because the shotgun plays more toward Denard's strengths than the I-form, but I found it interesting and wonder if Denard is getting many reps with it.

I would also like to know how much and to what success RR has ran this previously, if anyone has any know in the situation.



April 19th, 2010 at 11:57 AM ^

Knock Knock... anyone home...?

We had to implement the i-form because the spread offense is totally dead.

Further more, recruits ONLY want to play in pro-style offenses.

Clearly RR caving to media/recruitment/internal pressure.



April 19th, 2010 at 11:58 AM ^

Denard was under center a few times during the spring scrimmage I believe. We used the I-Formation moderately last year, and had success running the ball out of it with Minor. I didn't watch enough West Virginia football to remember if he used it a lot there though off the top of my head.


April 19th, 2010 at 12:18 PM ^

The I-formation has worked well to use the power run, and it's also produced some nice play action gains. Koger's TD against WMU was out of the I-formation, and I believe his highlight-reel, one-handed catch was, too.

The coaches probably don't trust Denard as much with turning his back to the defense for those play action fakes. He's less experienced than Forcier and has harder time processing coverages quickly. I'm sure he practices taking snaps in the I-formation, but they're probably less likely to throw the ball out of it with him in there.


April 19th, 2010 at 12:19 PM ^

Rich Rodriguez loves the power running game.. it's a stupid misconception that he loves all 5"6, 150 lb running backs that just run around horizontally. I really like Hopkins back there in the I, he's a nasty runner.


April 19th, 2010 at 1:06 PM ^

that it was done to give our defense some limited looks at I-formation, considering they'll see it often enough against Iowa, MSU, OSU, etc.

I think it works well with Tate, especially, as he can run and throw on the run quite well.


April 19th, 2010 at 1:22 PM ^

RR knows you have to be versitile to win. Mixing formations can keep a defense off balance. Besides, it's easier to recruit TE's if they know they are actually going to be used once in awhile.


April 19th, 2010 at 4:20 PM ^

inside and outside zone from it? if not, the reads aren't changed that much afaik. i would like to see them start adding some traditional angle blocking stuff if they haven't already a la OSU and their old reliable Dave.


April 20th, 2010 at 10:55 AM ^

The Spread is what UM is married to, but I would like to see more "I" weak/strong, 2-1 pesonnel (2-TE 1 RB), the more the merrier. hopfully it will come with more reps from the QB's.