JT Barrett vs. Dwayne Haskins (aka let's not panic about Don Brown (if he stays))

Submitted by ScooterTooter on December 12th, 2018 at 12:09 PM

One thing that has been mentioned on a couple podcasts and been discussed on the board is the stark contrast in the defense's performance between the JT Barrett offense and the Dwayne Haskins offense.  Its actually both alarming and a relief given that Haskins is likely gone.

(Some of these numbers might be slightly off as I was doing this mainly by hand)

In roughly 1.6 games against Don Brown's defense (only regulation, OT is too much like counting penalty kicks as goals in soccer), here are the numbers of JT Barrett and the OSU offense:

Team: 415 yards, 24 points, 6-25 on third down

JT Barrett: 18-40 154 yds 1 int (passing) 45 - 192 2 TDs (rushing) 

Honestly, its hard to imagine doing much better than that against Ohio State. This also comes with an extremely pro-Ohio State whistle (OSU was booted off the field on their last drive that got them to 280 yards in regulation, but the refs decided to call PI, similarly, they received some pretty shaky calls in the first half of the 2017 game that Joel Klatt mentioned during the broadcast) and good fortune (having to drive 6 yards for their only TD in regulation in 2016, Josh Metellus dropping an INT that hits him directly in the hands in 2017). 

Another way of looking at it: Barrett led only 5 drives out of 19 relevant drives that were over 50 yards. He led only one TD drive that wasn't a gift (two gifts: Speight's interception in 2016 and the Hudson penalty/Metellus drop in 2017), a 53 yard drive in 2017.

Its truly maddening that Michigan was not able to win either of these games. I suspect the reason for losing the 2017 game boils down to the following (Haskins and team numbers, 1.4 games):

Team: 782 yards, 72 points, 10-18 on third down

Haskins: 26-38 490 yards 6 TDs (passing) 10-58 yards (rushing)

9 out of 14 of Haskins drives were for over 50 yards. 13 out of 16 relevant drives (!) led to the opportunity of points (including missed field goals), even if some were short fields in 2018. 

Haskins also didn't benefit from any kind of referee shakiness. If anything, in the 2018 game edged Michigan's way.

Long story short: Even when they are unlucky (losing their starting QB), Ohio State is lucky against Michigan. I'm of the belief Haskins' throwing ability both sealed the 2017 game and (of course) won the 2018 game. 

However, with Haskins likely to turn pro and Martell looking more like Barrett than Haskins...I think we should see a reversion to the 2016/first half of 2017 performance at least schematically from the defense next year. 



December 12th, 2018 at 12:15 PM ^

I have been thinking this same thing, and just posted something to this topic in the Don Brown thread.

Don Brown did a phenomenal job coaching against Barrett OSU, but Haskins has absolutely rocked his defense. I do think Haskins leaving would really increase our chances against OSU next year to the extent that the new OSU QB is more of a Barrett type of QB regardless of how good he is. 


December 12th, 2018 at 12:40 PM ^

This is why I think a UFR would be helpful. Everyone looks at the final score and thinks Don Brown suddenly sucks. Without know what really happened on each play, everything is a massive over-simplification.

Also, keep in mind of the five all B1G defensive players - three were recovering from injuries and two were injured just before the game really became a blow out.


December 12th, 2018 at 1:13 PM ^

What type of zone though? We tried zone and they adjusted and ate it alive as well. Cover-2, Cover-3, they had an answer to it all. NW was considered a very good cover-2 team and OSU lit them up even more than UM (369yds passing vs 499yds passing against NW). Seems the only zone that slowed them down was MSU quarters, but we all know how Don Brown feels about quarters. 

Mike Damone

December 12th, 2018 at 12:17 PM ^

Only 50 weeks until we kick the shit out of them in the Big House, whoever the QB is.

I'm tired of this crap.  Time to turn Ryan Day into the next John Cooper/Earle Bruce.


December 12th, 2018 at 12:44 PM ^

What else is there?  We can't say "this year!"  We can't say "last year!"  Want do you want people to say?  "We are never going to beat OSU so nothing matters and we should just be sad?"  What purpose does that serve?  How would that not be more "embarrassing?"   

Do you think that Harbaugh should be fired?  Is that what the program should do right now? Is that the only adequate response, After 4 years and three 10 win seasons.  And hire who?  Dungy?

If you are embarrassed to be a fan of the program, then don't be a fan.  Be a fan of some other program and stop spewing your Mike Valenti--esque BS on a Michigan fan blog.  I think we are going to beat OSU every year.  If we don't beat them next year, then after that game I will think we are going to beat them in 2020.  And so on.


December 12th, 2018 at 12:53 PM ^

I'd rather our fans just had a humble "wait and see" attitude. Seems like non-stop sunshine and chest-beating even though we haven't accomplished much. 

I do think Harbaugh will eventually beat OSU and have a couple great seasons, but it seems likely he will end up with the same type of record against OSU that Cooper had against Michigan. He's already at 0-4 and OSU is one of a few truly elite programs in America.

And it's not all Jim's fault. OSU has a lot stacked in their favor: one rival instead of three, no other major programs in their state, more talent in their state, don't have to 'play school' as much, etc.


December 12th, 2018 at 12:57 PM ^

Fans don't accomplish anything, besides adding to the "Attendance Record". I see your point, but that's taking it too seriously. At the end of the day, it's entertainment. Enjoy the game, enjoy the beer, enjoy the trash talk. :) 

TBH though, I schedule my camping trips during Thanksgiving break to get away from the tension. But life goes on, JT was short or whether Gonzalez went out on his own or 62 - ...


December 12th, 2018 at 1:01 PM ^

Wow.  Non-stop sunshine?  You must be reading a different blog than I have been.

And as far as this "chest beating" and talking "without accomplishing much," that is the same line of BS that is leading to every media member being outraged at Chase Winovich for basically saying "we think we had a good season and just did not play a particularly good game against Ohio State."  What do people want him to say?  The kid is a departing senior and wants to leave the program saying nice things and people are slamming him for it.  It doesn't make any sense.

Mike Damone

December 12th, 2018 at 12:47 PM ^

What part of "I'm tired of it" did you not understand?  Don't think we are playing them next week.

Are you calling for Harbaugh's head?  If so, I disagree.  If he doesn't beat OSU and win the BIG in next 3 years with the talent we have - come talk with me.

Until then, I am enjoying the hoops season and looking forward to next Fall.

Go Blue!!!


December 12th, 2018 at 1:02 PM ^

"Are you calling for Harbaugh's head?"

Not yet but I'm pretty close. I've never been that critical of Harbaugh, but he really blew it this season. At some point if he can't get over the hump you have to give someone else a try. And it just kind of gets embarrassing after awhile, right? If he's 0-6 vs OSU he might be ready to hop back into the pros for the rest of his career.

I think the worst thing we can do as a fanbase is adjust expectations and accept 10-2 seasons with a loss to OSU every year. 

And sorry if I came across as a dick, which I am sure I did. You are free to be excited, but I'm kind of over it at this point - in "wait and see" mode like I mentioned.


December 12th, 2018 at 12:19 PM ^

I appreciate the analysis. With the way things have gone over the past 16 years, I think Michigan fans should assume, no matter who the QB is, as a team OSU will play a great game against Michigan.

Michigan needs to figure out what it is going to take to beat OSU regardless of who they trot out to lead the offense. This goes beyond one player.


December 12th, 2018 at 1:07 PM ^

I don't think this kind of analysis is particularly honest.  Our defense got smoked out of the gates by both ND and OSU.  The games were entirely different than expected after the first few possessions of each game because our "vaunted" defense was getting gashed at alarming rates.  It is OK to say that, by the end of the ND game our defense has stabled itself and was performing considerably better, but you can't point to the final score and say "see we didn't give up much after those brutal and debilitating three touchdowns that we gave up like right away."  It just doesn't work like that.


December 12th, 2018 at 12:26 PM ^

I used to be pissed about these threads, but now I've moved to the next stage, by being amused and astonished.  .   So it's ok now to keep Don Brown because OSU is going to a more running QB?  

Got it.  


December 12th, 2018 at 12:29 PM ^

Ok So lets say we somehow beat ohio next year and go to the playoff.  Then we have to play a spread offense and we will get torched again on D.  Just Saying....Unless he implements more zone/ and situational blitz in spring ball, and throughout the season you will get the same result against a quality opponent.  I love the guy, but to me he is over rated or is getting to much love and gets exposed when playing better teams.


December 12th, 2018 at 12:41 PM ^

Uh....love the guy but he is overrated?  Just say what you feel and say he sucks

I agree with you, could you submit your resume to Jim?   I think your ideas would have saved us.  That stupid Don Brown defense only works against non quality opponents.   

Can I get a clarification on where you draw the line on quality opponents?  I can use that for betting  against Don Brown wherever he ends up next when Jim hires you to get that zone implemented.  Thanks.




December 12th, 2018 at 1:30 PM ^

Yes I do love the guy as a coach the way he talks about his players but yea when you play man coverage against faster receivers then your dbs you have to get to the qb.  If you were struggling against Indiana to pressure the QB and cover the receivers then how in the world did you think you could get away with that against Ohio.  So to be clear on the quality opponents it’s more a little bit of that plus spread that kills them.  Remember the 17 penn state game? What do you think Alabama and Clemson would do to that defense? They would get torched. I’m not trying to be the coach or act as if I could do a better job, but I can watch football and played through college and have an opinion.  Michigan still doesn’t have the athletes to play that type of defense vs. Ohio state PERIOD.  Or was the 60+ points a mirage.  It’s a joke. Getting negged for being just straight up honest on this site is a joke.  I’m sorry what did you want to hear.  We are really awesome on D vs. Rutgers and teams with hurt qbs/pocket passer qbs, and so awesome against those types of teams that the stats make us look much better than we really are.  Is that better, or here you go...we are going undefeated next year and going to blow out Ohio and everything is great.


December 12th, 2018 at 12:30 PM ^

There's definitely something psychological to us losing to them too. We can’t get over the hump not only physically on the field but also psychologically.

No matter what QB they roll out they always play well against us. If it wasn’t Haskins killing us with his arm, it was Barrett with his legs or Pryor or Smith. 


December 12th, 2018 at 12:47 PM ^

This is definitely interesting, but I also don't know if it's as simple as Haskins being a bad matchup for this defense.  Haskins had struggled somewhat leading into the game, having a QB rating of 156 over the previous 6 games, which was below his season average and almost 100 points worse than the one he put up against Michigan.  And this was against teams like Nebraska, Purdue, Minnesota, etc.  So not juggernauts defensively.

Maybe he just gets up for this game better than others, maybe Meyer ups his sacrifices to the Devil before the game, whatever.  But I don't think that Brown's schemes are demonstrably different than those that slowed down Haskins elsewhere, and this game really felt like one where it snowballed a bit and got out of hand.  Like, it was always going to be a shootout, but Haskins and the OSU offense played far better than they had recently going into the game, and I'm not sure how much of that fell on a coaching staff and how much was the stupidity of the universe.