OSU Snowflakes - The Offense

Submitted by LSAClassOf2000 on November 25th, 2018 at 11:00 PM

This will be the thread for hot takes and snowflakes regarding the offense and offensive playcalling versus Ohio State.



November 26th, 2018 at 3:21 PM ^

We did not lose the game primarily due to the offense. The offense moved the ball and scored points. Not to say that they were perfect or that nothing needs to be changed, but it kills me that so many people want to FIRE PEP and GET A GOOD OC who can teach our guys to THROW THE BALL EVERYWHERE. We actually matched our season average in points scored. The offense was not a tire fire by any stretch.

We lost the game because our defense got throttled. We couldn't pressure the QB, couldn't cover their WRs, and had no answers for the OSU offense. Our defense let us down. And I know it's really hard to believe and all, but we would have won this game if our defense kept OSU from scoring more than 40 points.

I Like Burgers

November 24th, 2018 at 4:34 PM ^

If he doesn’t have a come to Jesus moment about his offense in relation to offense across CFB this offseason (like Saban did in 2014) then Michigan should just be resigned to winning 9-10 a year, and never playing for a Big Ten championship. And just forget about CFP dreams.

This staff currently doesn’t have what it takes to beat Ohio State no matter how bad the Buckeyes look and all postseason goals are irrelevant if you can’t beat them. 


November 24th, 2018 at 4:37 PM ^

He comes out every game and runs the ball on first and second down to about a 3rd and 6 in the first half. We sometimes make a drive in spite of this and finish the first half with some points. He then realizes he cant just run and passes a little to start the second half, we pass and actually score. We aren’t a good second half team, harbaugh just plays the first half like he is afraid of the forward pass. I mean I remember checking stats and we had 8 passes to 18 runs sometime in the second quarter.


November 24th, 2018 at 4:51 PM ^

M's D failed today, but--

Michigan is never going to be Big10 Champs unless the O scheme changes. 

A lot of Harbaughfense apologists have been singing the praises of "wearing down" opposing defenses over the course of a game.  They have made the claim that running into stacked boxes a la Hoke is a schematic advantage.

Its works where one has superior athletes.  But not against equal or greater athletes.  You must try to score points.  From the beginning of the game.  You must make the defense think you'll do one thing--then do another.


November 24th, 2018 at 8:12 PM ^

The D had a tough day and yes by the final score they failed.  But if the offense executed halfway decent, the D is never put in that situation.  It was a total snowball effect.  Predictable runs, Gentry's drops all gave osu more confidence and put the D on its heels.  True this defense is accustomed to bailing out a failing offense, but I really thought this year was different with Shea and the tools we have on offense.

You are 100% right.  If Harbaugh won't reconsider the offensive scheme, we will continue to live this end of year misery.  We will again have enough talent to win next season.  I still believe we can do it.  Until we don't.


I Like Burgers

November 25th, 2018 at 12:33 PM ^

I forget what the final stats said, but around half of Michigan's drives were of the 3/4 and out variety -- or within a few plays of that.  Meanwhile Ohio State scored 62 points on 67 plays.

Part of their gameplan was to keep the OSU offense off the field by keeping theirs on it.  And they failed massively there.

Winning Wolverines

November 25th, 2018 at 1:16 AM ^

I understand the pros have more time to practice than college players, but aren't there certain concepts that can translate?  Specifically, I think Tom Brady knows a thing or two about reading a defense and attacking it.  Would Jim Harbaugh be open to having a conversation about improving our process?  Having just typed this, it is shocking to me that Jim Harbaugh has coached at the highest level (one play away from winning the Super Bowl) and doesn't seem to gear his offenses to attacking an opponents' weaknesses.


November 25th, 2018 at 4:27 PM ^

For me, this is the most frustrating thing about Harbaugh. Instead of attacking opponents’ CLEAR weaknesses he stubbornly adheres to his “wear them out” with the run game philosophy. It just boggles the mind why you wouldn’t game plan that week’s offensive strategy based on the opponent at hand. I mean this is basic coaching 101.

Michology 101

November 24th, 2018 at 4:56 PM ^

You're right. We have good talented WRs, but our head coach and his scheme is holding that talent back. When we were forced to open things up some, we saw how well Nico can perform.

Sometimes it seems like playing WR in Harbaugh's offense is just a notch above playing WR for one of the military teams.    


November 26th, 2018 at 12:25 AM ^

I have to admit that, as an OSU fan, I was pleasantly surprised at the lack of imagination in the offense.  If your coaches had watched any film of the Purdue or Maryland games they should have noticed that those teams used motion and alignments to cause mismatches and and misdirection which OSU defense would bite on again and again.  I really thought that those two games in particular gave a pretty good road map on how to beat the OSU defense.  Granted the linebackers played back much more than normal (they are usually on the line during the cadence) but I was surprised at the lack of motion used by Michigan.


November 24th, 2018 at 4:11 PM ^

Do we have any WR's on this team other than DPJ ? It sure doesnt seem like it .

We have been waiting for Black to get back on the field and he has what , 2 catches , not for this game but on the year ?

Unacceptable !!

Blue Balls Afire

November 24th, 2018 at 4:11 PM ^

We've maxed out what we can do with this type of offense.  We cannot beat teams with equal or better athletes with an offensive scheme that offers no advantage.  The legit QB zone read helped, and we used it to the fullest this year, and it's still not enough.  Hate to say it, but get rid of Pep, let Ed Warinner install a modern offense.


November 24th, 2018 at 4:38 PM ^

Warinner's "modern" offense was so bad that he got run out of Columbus. 

The issue is Harbaugh. The concepts are generally fine. There's even some good variety. There's plenty of talent.

But Harbaugh has to be willing to unleash a dominant passing game. Michigan hasn't done it all year. When they went to the air late in the second quarter, we scored a TD (then got another one thanks to a gift and a beautiful playcall). 

But Harbaugh wants to wear down DLs. Which can be fine. But Michigan got two drives early in the third quarter, failed to move the football, gave up a blocked punt for a TD and a pick for a freebie, and suddenly the original plan was done. 

Harbaugh needs to be willing to air it out all game long. He really isn't right now. 

Still, Michigan got 30 non-garbage points on offense. That should have been enough. It wasn't even close. 

Blue Balls Afire

November 24th, 2018 at 5:06 PM ^

Warinner's problem was that he wasn't Tom Herman, shared OC duties with Tim Beck (and probably Urban), and they still went 12 - 1 and then 11 -2 (beating the best MI team we've had in decades) and making the playoffs only to lose to powerhouse Clemson).

The concepts are NOT fine.  It offers no schematic advantage.  The variety you mention are few, far between, and consist of trick plays for the most part.  Otherwise, it's straight ahead.  It depends too much on overpowering the opponent man for man, along all 22 positions, offense and defense.  Against lesser talent, that's enough to win.  Against teams with equal talent, it makes it really hard to win unless you have Alabama 2012 levels of talent and depth.  Even Saban realized this and opened up his offense.  Urban has always known this and runs a power spread with the best talent around along with a modern dual-threat QB game (even with a hydrant like Haskins) that is varied and multiple on EVERY play.  A defense doesn't know if it's going to be a zone read give, zone read keep, inverted veer, standard QB option football, gap power, ISO, counter, RPO, or air raid.  They can do all these things out of mostly the same spread formation.  That's what a modern spread with a dual-threat QB can do for an offense schematically.  For the past 7 years, we've come into the Game at a decided schematic disadvantage. 

I'm not saying Ed Warinner is necessarily the answer, but I am saying a power, pro-style, straight ahead attack with a pocket passer makes it too difficult to win consistently against elite teams.


November 25th, 2018 at 3:45 AM ^

Won't matter  how innovative someone from inside or outside the program is if Harbaugh insists on invariably running on first and/or second down; is reluctant to throw it deep except on some play action passes in obvious passing downs; insists on throwing the rollout patterns short to long, etc.

Harbaugh's philosophy will overshadow whatever anyone else does, unless Harbaugh himself has some sort of epiphany.