Merging MANBALL and shotgun

Submitted by Victors5 on October 15th, 2013 at 3:41 PM

A common argument on this board seems to be whether we should stick with MANBALL, or do what fits our personel best? I see no reason why we cant combine the two by running formations that fit our personel, and schemes that fit our philosophy of Power Football.

Personally I would have us line up in shotgun a majority of the time. We are most dangerous when we have Devin lined up 5 yards behind center, plus we can still run a majority of our offense, including Power O.

- We can run single back power with a TE 

- We can line up with an H-back and run regular power 

- We can run inverted veer (same blocking scheme as power)

- We can also run QB/RB counter (same blocking scheme as power but with G and T, or G and H pulling)

We can also still run our other main running plays such as Inside Zone Read, Outside Zone, and QB draw.

Just the threat of Devin running the football while in the shotgun should help open up creases for our RB's and make life a little easier on our O-Line. This may limit the success of play action passes, but I wouldnt have any problem with occasionally going under center or pistol to add some variety to our offense. To me this is the best way to take advantage of our personel and still be a power football team.




October 15th, 2013 at 3:50 PM ^

They can do everything you say but I think they would want to do it out of the pistol to get the down hill aspect of the running game. Also gives you the play action you want. And Derrick Green is very familar with the pistol offense.

But from listening to Hoke's comments the past two day its apparent they do not want to run Gardner anymore than they have to. And going to gun or pistol and not running Gardner takes away the advantage.


October 15th, 2013 at 3:53 PM ^

They dont have to run him more, they just need to have the "threat" of him running on every play  to gain an advantage. By having him lined up in pistol or shotgun they have to account for the possibility of him running. They do not have to account for this when Gardner is lined up under center.


October 16th, 2013 at 5:41 PM ^

you don't have to run gardner, he can be effective as a decoy out of the shotgun.  i really don't see it being difficult to switch to a spread shotgun.  i'm sure we have a 2 minute offense (tho we haven't seen it), where we have 3-4 WRs and/or a TE where we work out of the shotgun.  borges ought to be able to work out of that base.  then add-in the read/option run package giving gardner 10-12 carries per game.  this would clear-out the mosh pit between the hash marks.  plus gardner would have more opportunity at hitting short/slant routes (think NW or Purdue when they were good).  but hey, borges won't do it.  i've had little or no faith in that guy since day 1 with his complete waste of denard's talents.


October 15th, 2013 at 3:53 PM ^

Keep dreaming. We ran into a wall 27 times for a 1 yard avg, and you want this staff to come up with something this "innovative." They are still working on the whole forward pass concept and run left and run right. Borges has less plays then the original tecmo bowl - and we have no Bo Jackson :(

Paper? No!
Scissor? Never!
Rock! Yes!

I like rock! Always rock! Rock forever! 1 yd rock into middle of bodies for eternity!


October 15th, 2013 at 4:03 PM ^

Even if Devin gets intercepted 50% of the time, I would rather take my chances throwing to Gallon or Funchess than have Fitz lose a yard or two on every carry.


October 15th, 2013 at 4:42 PM ^

How can you judge the line?  No OL is going to do very well when it is 8 defenders on 5 or 6 blockers, and that is what Borges calls with mind-numbing persistence.  It is not fair to judge this line, as he puts them in one impossible situation after another.  We will never find out if they can be elite (whatever that means) until they get put into positions where they at least have a chance to succeed.  Toussaint cannot succeed when he is hammered behind the LOS, and the line cannot succeed when it is badly outnumbered at the point of attack.


October 15th, 2013 at 4:16 PM ^

All I know is the absolute, number one goal of this coaching staff is to be a physical, tailback oriented downhill running team. That's all we heard when Hoke was hired. That's all we've heard every since. It's been 2.5 years and this team is the exact OPPOSITE of that.

Hoke and the staff have failed at their main objective. He's in his third season and he still can't run a tailback.

Come on Hoke, do better


October 15th, 2013 at 4:27 PM ^

At this point if I was Hoke, I'd fire Borges come end of year and hire Wisconsin's O coordinator, and Hoke derps on this obvious fire, then tell Borges to go see what Wisconsin is doing, and just do that next year.


October 15th, 2013 at 4:28 PM ^

I was a Borges supporter, then the PSU game happened. I have lost all faith in him to do anything innovative or make any slight adjustments.

The whole MANBALL for the sake of MANBALL is really hurting the team. Does Hoke/Borges think Bo is going to roll over in his grave because we throw a quick screen to a WR?


October 15th, 2013 at 4:34 PM ^

I agree 100%. Gardner looks very uncomfortable under center, and not very comfortable in the pistol. He is easily at his best in shotgun. Fitz has also had success in the past with running out of the shotgun formation. I understand the coaches don't want #98 getting hurt. However, it's the THREAT of him running that is key. Just by lining up in shotgun, the defense has to account for DG. That alone could be enough to freeze a safety or linebacker long enough to keep them from getting downhill and into gaps. The only place I like seeing DG under center is in the redzone, where he can run bootlegs.


October 15th, 2013 at 5:15 PM ^

but 0% Al Borges is smart enough to implement something like this. Fitz will be running into the ass of his own offensive linemen a yard beyind the LOS for the remainder of the season.


October 15th, 2013 at 5:19 PM ^

Keep fitz the primary back with Butt or #36 as an H back type.  Or heck even a Derrick Green Fitz backfield.  Your receivers would be a combination of Gallon, Funchess, and Chesson.  Slide in Dileo and Norfleet from time to time at the slot.  You can run inside zone, power, stretch from that same look.  The problem is Borges has no constraint plays or no imagination which means we will continue running into 8/9 man fronts.  FML!! 


October 15th, 2013 at 5:30 PM ^

it was called the Pistol formation (Chris Ault, Nevada).

A lot of teams added it to their playbook in recent years because of it's advantages for the quarterback and running game.


October 15th, 2013 at 5:31 PM ^

you could tell this to borges a hundred times. he will still keeping running the power (or lack there of) for negative yardage the first 3 downs.


October 15th, 2013 at 6:09 PM ^ Michigan. Im sick of hearing about Manball. If you want to see man ball watch Wisconsin and Alabama. Stop with this MANBALL. We are a zone read downfield throwing club with minimal deep weapons and no qb depth for what we are best at. MaNBALL can just cease to mentioned until the boys MAN up and play like they have winged helmets on.


October 15th, 2013 at 6:11 PM ^

I think we ought to just turn over the playcalling to MGoBlog.  We should have a choice of about 25 or so plays, and just click on the one we each prefer, allow about 5-10 seconds, and whichever one most people choose gets relayed to the sideline (though someone might need to write a program that limits the number of bubble screens called). 


October 15th, 2013 at 6:56 PM ^

I would have a no runningback backfield or at the very least send a lone RB in motion, split WR's 5 wide, stretching the defense to their max and give our 5 star dual threat quarterback the opportunity to throw first or use his God given gift of elusive wheels to pick up 8+ yards per crack ie. 'See Vince Young' and 'Patriots Tom Brady' is all I'm saying!

Eastside Maize

October 15th, 2013 at 7:08 PM ^

I hope I'm wrong but I don't think we will see Manball for a couple years. We can't get enough push to get 3rd and inches. I can't believe every D line we've seen has pushed us around.


October 16th, 2013 at 11:38 AM ^

I get what you're saying, but you have to realize that with better game planning/better play calling/willingness to adjust and take free yards/better OL coaching (the main things everyone has been fretting over since the PSU game) then we would not have been in the situation to need a fg or have a PI call hurt us. We leave Happy Valley with a 10 point win and we know we're not great but happy we have an OC who gives our guys at least a freakin' chance to be successful and compete for the division. Instead we're left where we are, pointing fingers that need to be pointed. 



October 16th, 2013 at 2:27 AM ^

That's not how football works in Non-NCAA 14 real life. Plays don't magically work or not work. If something doesn't work, coaches are much more likely to work on it until it does work than scrap it and start all over. You have to practice something to make it work. And if you practice something, you have to play with it.

Mpfnfu Ford

October 16th, 2013 at 2:02 AM ^

Go watch TCU when Andy Dalton was there, or go watch a South Carolina game. All Spurrier does is run the same lead draw and inside zone he used to run from the I Formation in the 90's out of the shotgun with a TE and an H Back. THIS ISN'T INNOVATIVE. THIS IS BASIC FOOTBALL.


October 16th, 2013 at 2:23 AM ^

In all seriousness, I would be stoked to see Michigan study what Nevada does with the pistol. It's STUPID-simple and highly effective. Devin Gardner would be in a great position for success in that type of offense.. 

The kicker is this: Nevada is a downhill, double-tight-based ground and pound attack, but with spread elements (packaging bubbles to spread the field). Inside Zone, Outside Zone, boots and simple route combo's in the pass game. There's a reason Kaepernick and the Niners run this stuff at the next level. 

If you all get a chance, watch a Nevada game on TV. It's a thing of beauty. Cody Fajardo right now is a fun QB to watch.