The Offensive Line (or lack there of)

Submitted by HartAttack20 on November 1st, 2009 at 2:11 AM

I've read it all today. From "WTF FIRE RR NOW" all the way to "Wow I'm going to kill myself". I'm sure many of you have. I understand that, but it's not that bad. Sure we lost a bad game, and it was a terrible loss, but it's a game. Chill out at least a little bit. I don't know how our offensive line can go from what looked like domination of the Illinois defense early in the game to the point where we couldn't block guys long enough for Brown to run one yard in to the endzone. I don't even have a problem with that play calling, although I would like to see a pass play in the endzone there and see some different plays. I have a problem with the O-Line not being able to pass block at all for Tate in the second half. I truly do not understand how that happened. I totally understand that they lost a big piece in Molk, but that's not an excuse for what I saw out there. It's like whatever Brian puts in his posts as something we can exploit for the opposing team , the other team goes out and excells at. I was almost giddy reading the preview to this game, thinking that I would get to see us run the ball down their throats all game. Obviously, it didn't happen that way. I saw some threads about whether or not the spread works. That's a ridiculous thing to even have to think about. Of course it works. I'm not sure what the team can do to bounce back and get back on track. I honestly don't know what they are doing wrong. All I know is that the O-line is extremely inconsistent and the defense is just plain terrible and not fast overall. Tough loss, but I'm looking forward to our remaining games. Looks like this Purdue game is a GIANT of a game. Thoughts on the Offensive Line?



November 1st, 2009 at 1:47 AM ^

How much do you think the O-line improves next year? Obviously Molk back will be very helpful. But how will our other guys do? Will they all come back (with the exception of Moosman)? Are they actually going to improve?


November 1st, 2009 at 7:15 AM ^

We will lose Ortmann, the other starting tackle, he's a 5th year senior. So is backup McAvoy.
Current starters coming back: Schilling, Dorrestein, Huyge, Molk. However we'll have a bunch of RS Freshmen and Sophomores who will hopefully step it up and compete for a starting job at tackle.

Speaking of which, Patrick Omameh played some today at right tackle. Did ok, I guess.

So to answer your question, I think they will improve some. Huyge and Molk are both RS sophomores. I'm not expecting leaps and bounds of improvement but at least some.

And one wonders how Molk will do after an ACL injury.


November 1st, 2009 at 3:30 AM ^

pretty confident in saying this is the 2nd worst offensive line I've seen at Michigan since I started paying attention in 1979.

The worst was last year.

I do have higher hopes that they can improve next year, the physical difference is noticeable, at least body type and body shape(Barwis Affect). Not much power though and thats a concern.


November 1st, 2009 at 4:46 AM ^

I woke up this morning about 2am or so, (for some reason I don't sleep well lately) and was thinking about what a huge impact it has been to not have Molk in there. Weather you think about the bad snaps that plagued us over the last few weeks or the lack of protection for TF and D Rob, the O line has not been near what we thought they would be. I tried to think of the last time we looked really good on the field (Del State does not count) and I think it was right before he got hurt. Since then our O has been lack luster to say the least. TF and D Rob have really looked like Frosh QB's. I know that our level of competition has been better but today we lost to a horrible ILL team that we should have run up 50 points on. TF looked good at times but the majority of the time they were all over him and I can not help but to think that David Molk would have helped that.


November 1st, 2009 at 6:38 AM ^

I care about whether they can block people. As for the "Barwis effect," the only effect I see out on the field is that opposing RBs and QBs and WRs are consistently running past our defenders. At some point people are going to have to give up the notion that Mike Barwis is singlehandedly going to turn our OLs into ravening unstoppable beasts and our WRs and RBs into uncatchable speed demons. I have.


November 1st, 2009 at 7:18 AM ^

We were sold a bill of goods on Mike Barwis weren't we? Its finally safe to say the he's just another strength coach. Nothing more, nothing less. He's not special. He doesn't have a magic formula. He just has a lot of energy and a gravely voice.

I don't see any improvement in team speed. Maybe the o-linman can power clean more, but what difference does that make when they get stoned 4 TIMES IN A ROW from the 1 yard line against a last place team?


November 1st, 2009 at 7:37 AM ^

The OL is definitely killing us, and it seems like they're regressing. But there are too many problems with this offense to put it all on them. The OL didn't fumble the ball and didn't drop passes. This team is fun to watch when they're on, but miserable when they're not. There's no middle ground.


November 1st, 2009 at 8:15 AM ^

Taylor Lewan certainly looks the part, and I hope that he can challenge for time by playing well this spring. I also remember a lot of hype being directed at Quinton Washington and Ricky Barnum when they signed on the dotted line, so I hope that they can move up in the rotation.


November 1st, 2009 at 8:58 AM ^

O-line career starts (before the Illinois game) as follows: Schilling 31, Ortmann 19, Moosman 18. We obviously lose Ortmann and Moosman. Ortmann is backed up by Dorrestein. I'm guessing Dorrestein wiil be at LT next year and RT will probably be Omameh. Center will be Molk and RG will be Huyge and LG will be Schilling. Will we be better? Obviously we will lose some experience but the O-line appears decent. They need to be able to sustain blocks when we pass to give the QB time. We don't have that now. They seem to be better at run blocking than pass blocking. My guess is that we will improve some since the non-starters coming back do have some experience, will be older and hopefully will get a little better the remainder of this year.

Maize and Blue…

November 1st, 2009 at 12:01 PM ^

He hasn't exactly played all that well. Do you use a 5th year on him next year when it is painfully obvious we need all the help we can get on D? Does he even want to play next year if he graduates with minimal chance of ever playing in the NFL?


November 1st, 2009 at 3:19 PM ^

I don't think it happens too often that a starter with one year of eligibility remaining takes his degree and goes home.

Adam Patterson, sure. He's buried on the depth chart. John Ferrara, maybe. He's not starting but could win the job next year. But Dorrestein is starting and presumably he would have a leg up on Omameh/Barnum/Schofield/Lewan/etc. since he has a chunk of starts to his name.


November 1st, 2009 at 7:07 PM ^

It usually takes a solid year to come back from an ACL, right? It's amazing what they can do in the surgery room these days, but still, ACL tear is a bad injury.

Dorrestein and Huyge are showing to be the weaker links in the O -line. I watched the 3rd quarter and part of the 4th again. Huyge got knocked back by a DT towards the end of the 3rd Q, causing a loss by Carlos Brown, a few plays before Tate fumbled. That Tate fumble was caused by pressure from the right side - Dorrestein and Huyge.

I'm sure he's a nice kid and everything, but he needs to step it up on the field, and in the weight room. He's just a sophomore so he will get better.


November 1st, 2009 at 9:25 AM ^

The O-line is actually decent at run blocking but horrible against the pass. However, if your defense constantly sprays points, you have to pass in order to catch up. Unfortunately, there needs to be a major adjustment to the defense in the off season.


November 1st, 2009 at 9:58 AM ^

Just a game ? ... if you want to play a game get the Monopoly board out ... Football is more than a game its a competition of everything the team has worked for all year long.


November 1st, 2009 at 10:48 AM ^

was certainly suspect, Tate has been seeing a lot more blitzes since the ND game, which has caused him to miss reads and prematurely scramble when the pocket had not collapsed. So yes, while the O-line has regressed a bit, i think Tate has something to do with our lack of production.

steve sharik

November 1st, 2009 at 10:55 AM ^

We need athletes at tackle. Think about guys like Jonathan Ogden, Orlando Pace, etc. Those guys were huge, but they were very athletic. If you want to protect the QB, you need guys with exceptional feet at OT.


November 1st, 2009 at 1:01 PM ^

Well sure, every team in the country could use possible the best o-lineman in the past 15 years.

This offense needs lineman that can move, but you can't go too small. I think they should all be 300 lbs plus. And mean. Much meaner than the current crop Michigan has.


November 1st, 2009 at 10:56 AM ^

This is a line I cross only on the rarest of rare occasions, because normally it's an asshole attitude, but: if I were an M lineman today, I'd be dead ashamed of myself for not being able to advance the line two feet in just one out of four tries.


November 1st, 2009 at 11:40 AM ^

I dont know what to say except that we should not be having any excuses at OL. I know Molk is a big hit, but that's why you develop players and add depth to positions. The guys playing are not even freshmen or sophomores. Below you see a couple of other schools in a similar position regarding their starting QBs being inexperienced and their respective O-Lines.

USC (3 seniors, 1 Junior, 1 Sophomore) with Matt Barkley
71 Charles Brown - Sr.
70 Tyron Smith - So.
53 Jeff Byers - Sr.
76 Nick Howell - Sr.
61 Kristofer O'Dowd - Jr.

USF (3 seniors and 2 juniors) with BJ Daniels
98 Aaron Harris - Sr.
78 Mark Dile - Sr.
71 Matt Huners - Sr.
64 Jacob Sims - Jr.,
62 Sampson Genus - Jr.

Michigan (4 seniors and 1 junior)
71 Mark Ortmann - Sr.
79 Perry Dorrestein - Sr.
52 Stephen Schilling - Sr.
60 David Moosman - Sr.
72 Mark Huyge - Jr.

And if you add others who have had playing time like Ferrara (Sr.) you still have upperclassmen in the O-line. The only time we have played Mealer (Fr.) and maybe Khoury? (Fr.) is during blow out games.

Now, look at Jimmy Clausen's first year as QB, which he played terrible. He had 2 Juniors, 1 Senior, 1 Sophomore, and 1 Freshman as his O-line. With a line this inexperienced (let alone your backups being primarily freshmen and sophomores) I can understand why he sucked so bad that first year - inexperience on both the O-line and QB position. But for Michigan? This should not be the case.

OT 72 Paul Duncan 6-7 292 Jr.
71 Bartley Webb 6-7 291 RFr.

OG 77 Mike Turkovich 6-6 299 Jr.
55 Eric Olsen 6-4 300 Soph.

C 78 John Sullivan 6-4 290 Sr.
67 Thomas Bemenderfer 6-5 285 Soph.

OG 51 Dan Wenger 6-4 284 RFr.
73 Matt Carufel 6-5 295 Soph.

OT 74 Sam Young 6-8 315 Soph.
63 Jeff Tisak 6-5 300 Jr.


November 1st, 2009 at 12:02 PM ^

Experience is one side of it. The other is talent. Our OL is unathletic, and this really manifests itself in pass protection. Our tackles have been getting owned on the outside all season. The fact that Ortmann and Dorrestein are still starting at the tackle positions is worrisome enough. They flat-out don't have the ability to be more than average players. This is another position group in which, for whatever reason, Carr's later recruiting wasn't that great. Last year we had nightmarishly-bad depth on the OL; this year it's merely shaky.

(BTW, Schilling, Dorrestein and Ferrara are actually redshirt juniors.)

Maize and Blue…

November 1st, 2009 at 2:35 PM ^

Dorrestein, Ortman, McAvoy, Huyge, Molk all three stars. With Moose being a four and Schilling being a 5. Ferrara was also a 3 star, but at DT. There are a bunch of young and more athletic 4 stars waiting to replace them.
If you check Rivals USC has nothing but 4 and 5 star recuits along Oline. You also mention ND and since 2006 they have primarily picked up 4 stars on the Oline with one 5 star. Reality is that it is very hard for a true Freshmen to make a mark on the O and D lines. I would suspect that we will start seeing a more athletic line next year with Lewan, Barnum, Omameh, Schofield, Mealer and Q being ready to go.


November 1st, 2009 at 12:24 PM ^

Keep in mind that prior to the ND game there was practically no film of Michigan for opposing teams to scout. With each week they have more and they are better able to exploit some of our weaknesses. That may explain a portion of the regression and there is little we can do about it. The team is young and the coaches' ability to bring in new things is limited.

A few examples - they are many more:
- They know our safety and inside linebacker play is weak and they are funneling a lot of the action that way.
- They now know Forcier is prone to panic a little under pressure, perfectly normal for any freshman, and he is prone to fumble when he starts to run - they are now going for the ball as soon as he starts to move.
- Moosman has had trouble with snaps and having to concentrate and that is probably slowing his movement off the snap. That is particularly critical at the goal line.
- We are having trouble getting receivers open on the play as drawn - they have been more open when Forcier scrambles but that also brings sacks and fumbles.

This team is very inexperienced and there is inevitably a price to pay for that. I also think that ona day when things go well and mistakes are limited they can win any of the three remaining games. Let's hang on and hope.


November 1st, 2009 at 1:31 PM ^

the OL went through another position shuffle yesterday. I had to listen to the game on the radio so I was not aware of this until reading it in the paper today. Was there an injury on OL causing the shuffle? If not.... WHY THE HELL????!

Durham Blue

November 1st, 2009 at 2:37 PM ^

to Moosman at center is much bigger than anticipated. The O line should hopefully improve next year. There will be some young guys coming in but they are all very talented.


November 1st, 2009 at 8:46 PM ^

I can't start a new thread, so figured to put this here. I didn't see any threads about it. I'm guessing we'll see Ortmann suspended for next weeks game because he punched an Illini player in the junk. Here's the video. You'll see the punch at the 0:14 mark and then you'll see the Illini player hobbling off the field.