Orange Bowl Snowflakes: The Offense

Submitted by LSAClassOf2000 on December 30th, 2016 at 11:52 PM

This is the place to post your hot takes on what there was of offense in the Orange Bowl.



December 31st, 2016 at 12:32 AM ^

I don't get the pitch sweeps where the ball is tossed 5 yards behind the LOS and once the RB has the ball starts at a distinct disadvantage against an extremely fast defense. God bless D Smith but he just doesn't have the jets to turn that into any sort of gain. 

Other things:

1. Speight only reinforced that next year's QB competition is not only warranted but needed. I got sick of seeing him do the hands on the helmet "How could I miss that guy?" reaction after a while. That's not a sign of composure or coolness Harbaugh said his demeanor was.

2. Red zone offense was weak and lacked any sort of determination.

3. Line played bad but that's one hell of a DL. Hadn't seen anything like it all year.

4. Evans is going to be great. He's showing the "take it to the house" skill set.

5. Harbaugh I think fired them up at the half and we calmed down but getting down 20-6 early is a piss poor start to a bowl game. I honestly never felt like we controlled the game, even with a slight lead towards the end. 

Lot of stuff to work on. Feel bad for the seniors tonight. Good luck going forward, fellas.

Football Heaven

December 31st, 2016 at 9:33 AM ^

This could be said of many of the players, especially in the 1st quarter.  We took a firm left hook on the first drive, and really didn't get up until the 2nd half.  There was no swaggar...lots of gloomy faces just staring into nothing.  This is what we missed with Peppers out, his emotional leadership.  


December 31st, 2016 at 12:28 AM ^

stacked box. 

Yes, there were a number of plays where I thought I was watching a Borges gameplan.  Particularly once it was clear that the running game was not working.

Also, the shift to throwing the ball--successfully--once time was running out.  It reminds one of many games of yore. 

I was under the impression Harbaugh was opposed to forcing unsuccessful tactics.  It was hard to watch. 




December 31st, 2016 at 12:46 AM ^

This. Everything this. Why not trade one of those suicide runs into a stacked box for a jet sweep to keep them honest? It was tried once in the first quarter and then abandoned. Why weren't we trying more of the short 5-8 yard pass plays that were successful when tried?


This game has made me significantly less enthusiastic about next year. I really thought we had a reliable QB who knew the system and just needed to get healthy to be able to lead the offense. It looked to me like Speight didn't have enough control of the game to earn favorite status. I now expect a wide open copmetition in fall camp, yet again.


I really hope we can develop a real O-Line within the next 2 years. It has been too goddamned long.

True Blue Grit

December 31st, 2016 at 8:56 AM ^

He looks like a first year John Navarre - a guy who really wasn't a good QB until his senior year.  I think the QB bar at Michigan needs to be higher than that.  One problem is he doesn't respond well to strong defensive pressure.  He seems to get rattled too easily and it throws off his rhythm.  He also CAN NOT hit a receiver in the corner of the endzone to save his soul.  Every ball is overthrown.  Sure, part of the problem has been his OL not giving him enough time.  But there were times last night where he had some time, needed to make a completion, and failed.  Harbaugh/Fisch will need to give Brandon Peters a very strong look in the spring.  


December 31st, 2016 at 9:34 AM ^

corner of the end zone issue is a problem. We stall in the red zone because it looks like Speight can only throw effectively over the middle. We seriously have not completed a fade route all year, and really don't even try. The only way we get to the outside is with pitches and sweeps. It feels really claustrophobic when we have a short field. We don't even threaten teams outside and I think it has a lot to do with Speight's inaccuracy.


December 31st, 2016 at 12:26 AM ^

Yeah, I'm not buying any addition by subtraction theories. Cole was getting wrecked by FSU's line all game long and I'm hard pressed to believe Onwenu or Ulizio are going to magically come out next year and be an improvement upon this year's line. I think the goal next year should be to be approximately as good as this year's line


December 31st, 2016 at 12:59 AM ^

I agree that it's a major concern. 


That said, I think this was the best defensive line they've played all season and very easily could end up being better than any DLine we play next season. 


The offense scored 21 points. Far from good, but far from horrible either. 


This game was lost evenly between the three phases in my opinion. 

Magnum P.I.

December 30th, 2016 at 11:56 PM ^

I know that most of the MGoBlog community likes him, but I just don't see Speight as capable of leading a championship-caliber team. He's just a guy at quarterback. I really hope that Peters surges ahead of Speight next spring and fall. We know what Speight is, so if Peters can push ahead, that means he's a good quarterback. 


December 31st, 2016 at 12:08 AM ^

I went into this game thinking he had the chance to lock down the QB position for the next 2 years. (or 1 if he chose to go Pro..)

Now I think he will be looking at grad transfer options after next year.  He seems like a good guy, a gamer, but just doesn't quite have what we need to go to the next level.

I find myself believing in what I saw earlier today (maybe from UMBig11?)  Next year we will be young but it will be more athletic and almost all Harbaugh players.  I love what our Seniors gave for this team, but  am excited to see what JH recruited OL, RB, and QB recruits can do next year.


December 31st, 2016 at 1:07 AM ^

Did you see the pressure he was under tonight?  It's not easy to hit receivers when you have to let it go that early.

His missed some throws, but at least he was able to buy himself some time to make them.

I'm all for the best man starting but view that more as being up on Peters than down on Speight.  May the best man win.


December 31st, 2016 at 12:48 AM ^

I truly believe we are looking at an undefeated season with one of Michigan's typical "pro-style" qbs of yesteryear. Collins, Griese, Brady, Henson, Henne, and possibly even Navarre would have us in the playoffs right there alongside Bama. It really is a shame this collection of talent did not have a better qb leading the team. I know we didn't have any better options but it is really disappointing and also clear that Speight will have some competition going forward. He played well against the average to poor teams and poorly against the good teams. I realize he is young and he can improve but his ceiling is decent at best.

Magnum P.I.

December 31st, 2016 at 12:55 AM ^

I agree 100 percent. I think if we had just an above-average QB this season, we're in the playoff tomorrow. 

I'm not saying that O'Korn is better than Speight, but I think Harbaugh made a decision to go with the safe option out of fall camp rather than the high-risk-high-reward option in O'Korn. Now, O'Korn looked awful in the snowy Indiana game after sitting on the bench all season, but I wonder how things would've played out this year if O'Korn had been annointed out of fall camp with all of Harbaugh's confidence behind him. 

Magnum P.I.

December 31st, 2016 at 1:17 AM ^

You're probably right, but I don't think it's fair to conclude that O'Korn has bad pocket presence based on the small sample size this season, especially without him every really getting a chance to settle in.

We'll never know what he would've looked like after a full season had he been annointed out of camp.


December 31st, 2016 at 10:46 AM ^

Cmon man. I will agree with you on Griese, Henson, and Brady. Those guys were our best QBs of the Carr era. Speight reminds me an awful lot of Navarre and Henne. Guys that could win games but missed a ton of important throws when it mattered.

I miss Rudock. He was the best QB to watch in a long time.


December 31st, 2016 at 11:18 AM ^

The Griese in '95 and '96 wasn't anything special.  QB play between Griese and Dreisbach was a big reason those teams went 8-4.  People have these memories of UM QB's doing really good things as experienced upperclassmen but forgot that most of the past QBs took some lumps when they were starting for the first time.

Heck, in 1998 when Brady was in his first year of starting, the offense was abysmal for most of the year.


December 31st, 2016 at 12:03 AM ^

What a shitty ending to a shitty season. I'm not sure if I can handle 2 more years of Speight. I hope and pray that somebody will overtake him for the job. We are losing a ton of talent. I don't have very high expectations for next year.  Surprise, surprise, we lost to yet another mobile quarterback. Who didn't see that coming... Sad part is he didn't even have that many rushing yards this year. See you guys next year.


December 31st, 2016 at 12:55 AM ^

Ugh, so much wrong with this post.  Let's start at the top:


a) This wasn't a shitty year. We were still in the playoff conversation until the end of the Pac12 CG. It's our second double digit win season in a row. Take a deep breath.


b) You almost certainly won't have to deal with Speight for 2 more years. He wasn't Harbaugh's recruit and he just blew his chance to lock down the position for NEXT year. There is a zero percent chance Harbaugh lets Peter's lose 2 years of eligibility for the QB that played today.


c) We are losing a ton of talent, but we are replacing it quicker than they are graduating. The seniors graduating from this class had 2 years of Harbaugh. This season would have been very different if players of that caliber had Harbaugh's training their entire college career. We will be reaping those benefits shortly.


d) Francois' mobility was barely a factor in this game. He broke open, what, 2 runs? 3 maybe? And we were playing without the dangerman that Don Brown built his containment system around. It shouldn't surprise you.


I'm pissed about this game. But your post is borderline hysterics.



December 31st, 2016 at 11:30 AM ^

Uggggggggh, so much wrong with your post. Your post isn't borderline hysterical and delusional, it IS hysterical and delusional.

A) It was a shitty year considering we finished the same as last year. We haven't made any improvement from year 1. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Jim Harbaugh isn't the football God that most people think he is. The man hasn't won anything. Ever. (Runner up in the Superbowl doesn't count). 10-3 by all means is better than where we where, but we've seen this before. He's a good coach who has a track record of  turning programs around, but is he the guy to take us all the way? Doubtful.

B) I hope you're right, but typically the most senior guy on the team plays through till graduation unless he is massively terrible. Speight isn't massively terrible, but he isn't great, either. He's in that gray area where he's barely good enough to keep the job for another 2 years.

C) We'll see what happens. Even with great talent coming in, it takes time to develop. I'm sure I don't have to tell you guys that even if you have pure raw talent, youngsters go out and make mistakes.

D) 2 plays where if he is stopped, we most likely win the game. Who said I'm surprised? I called this! Even though Francois was more of a pocket passer this year I knew he'd break open against Michigan because that's what Michigan does against mobile QB's. My point is still valid that Michigan sucks against mobile QB's. This has been a historical problem no matter who our coach/defensive coordinator is. And your point is negated about Jabrill Peppers being inactive because we had Jabrill for the o$u game and it still happened.


You guys can downvote me all you want, but I keep it real. I'm not a delusional homer who sits around telling himself "this is the year!" every year. Just because I sound negative doesn't make me any less of a fan than the rest of you. You guys are probably still telling yourselves the lions have a shot at the Superbowl Open your eyes.

True Blue Grit

December 31st, 2016 at 9:03 AM ^

type of back - not the kind of guy you build a running game around.  We saw last night what that kind of offense looks like when you have a back like Cook.  Michigan needs guys who are threats to take it the distance on any play and who look for places to run where people aren't standing in.  Hopefully, with Evans, Higdon, Walker, and (dreaming) Najee Harris next year, that will change.  


December 31st, 2016 at 9:30 AM ^

^^^^^This. I think Michigan is starting to bring in real playmakers at RB and WR, that has been lacking. Hopefully Harbaugh's recruiting will improve the mediocre OL play that we've endured for what...the better part of a decade or more? And Speight, while a gamer, just isn't good enough to hold off Mccaffrey and Peters for the next 2 years, in my opinion.


December 31st, 2016 at 9:39 PM ^

that if a "faster" RB  fumbles the ball twice a game next year you will still be sad.

And if a "faster" RB lets a pass rusher knock out our starting QB for the season, you will positively lose your shit.

I think Deveon was ill suited to those sweeps & pitches like most people, but I understand the coaches probably have reasons he's playing.  That or they all suck.


December 30th, 2016 at 11:57 PM ^

in this game. the OLs are the one to blame. But the QB just missed too many throws. And we need a good RB! that makes difference. FSU is an example with subbar OL, but with a game changer RB. Just keep recruiting, Coach!, we will get there.

They fight back!


December 30th, 2016 at 11:58 PM ^

...was as high as it was because of points scored against already-bested teams. It was never an elite unit. Harbaugh will have much better ones...They played to the end tonight despite losing Peppers and then Butt. Credit to them.


December 31st, 2016 at 12:20 AM ^

Yeah, the PPG is shiny but in difficult games the offense disappeared at times. 14 vs Wisconsin, 13 vs Iowa, 17 vs OSU, ans basically 22 vs FSU (7 in the pick 6, and 3 off the muff). They were fine but we couldnt rely on them.

The receiving corps was very good but everything should be better under Harbaugh soon. O-line has to get better I assume, QB play will improve, RB play will probably improve.

A Lot of Milk

December 30th, 2016 at 11:58 PM ^

Can't think of the last time I saw a college offense unable to move the ball a single yard with :30 and three timeouts left. Bad oline, butterfinger receivers who don't turn their head around, pathetic playcalling, Butt out most of the game, and we still lost by a single fucking point. When will the goddamn pain end