December 18th, 2018 at 10:58 AM ^

I know Harbaugh is pretty good at what he does and I do not profess to be smarter than he, but it does hurt to imagine what some of the more pass-happy coaches in college football could do with Shea, Tarik, DPJ, Nico, and our crew of TEs. Feels like we're wasting what could be an elite pass-first offense while we continue to be run-first


December 18th, 2018 at 11:06 AM ^

During the two drives that we had to score against OSU to keep the entire game from getting away (before it actually did), he just dropped Patterson back and let him sling it.  Both ended up being like 6 play TD drives with two dimes to Collins.  We have the personnel to do that, and could be a lethal pass-to-set-up-the-run outfit.  When we landed DPJ, Black, and Collins I thought that was exactly what he was going for but it is morphed into something very peculiar.


December 18th, 2018 at 1:14 PM ^

Zach Shaw wrote an article about the ten most valuable players as voted on by the fans. Nico was #10 IIRC. Shaw noted that Nico had zero drops this year.


Another player not many pegged as likely to wind up on the short list of Michigan’s top players, Nico Collins had a breakout season this fall. The sophomore finished with 33 catches on 47 targets for a team-high 552 yards and six touchdowns. According to Pro Football Focus, Collins also did not record a single drop this season, being one of just five players nationally to catch 30 passes without a drop.

Towering at 6-foot-5 and boasting an 80-inch wingspan, Collins’ catch radius was on full display this season. And given his efficiency (11.7 yards per attempt), a case could be made that Michigan didn’t even go to him enough.

Link to Article


December 18th, 2018 at 11:13 AM ^

You still do not understand the strategy this year.  

The OL was terrible at pass pro.  The ND game happened and the OL was terrible.  From there the decision was made: run the ball because the OL is pretty good at that, put the games in the hands of your defense, pass with Shea only when the game demanded it, but don't turn it over (heavy, heavy emphasis on this last bit, hence Patterson's hesitation in many games).  After last year, getting the QB to the end of the year was critical. 

This worked.  Michigan won 10 in a row and beat some good teams along the way.  Everyone thought the OL improved and they did, but they were still very bad at pass pro. 

OSU game and Harbaugh decides to keep going with what worked all season.  Based on the film of his team and the film of the OSU team through 11 games, this made sense.  Then OSU plays out of their minds - they were much better that game than they were all year.  Michigan gets behind and has to open up the offense by passing the ball.  The OL gets killed.  End of game.  

Michigan will throw next year if they can pass protect, and throw a lot.  And I'm guessing from now until eternity Harbaugh throws everything he has at the Buckeyes from the first snap. 


December 18th, 2018 at 11:49 AM ^

Look, I would have liked to have seen a 2017-type game plan from Harbaugh.  That's what I was expecting, maybe we all were which has amplified the letdown.  But in 2017 Harbaugh clearly had the inferior team (driven almost entirely by the gaping disparity at QB, and some on the OL), so nothing to lose, so let it all go.  I understand Harbaugh looking at the film this year and saying "My team is better. We can do what we've done and win."  OSU allowed big plays to everyone, but none against Michigan.  OSU's offense struggled against the better defenses (screens saved them against PSU), but did not against Michigan.  If you play that game 100 times, you get 1 performance like that from OSU.  Don't believe me?  Check the S&P stats for that game. 

The OSU problems in order of magnitude: 

1. OSU played at volume 11.  I don't think Oklahoma or ND win that game.  Clemson would have been even, Alabama wins. 

2. Don Brown's defense got wrecked.  Harbaugh could not have anticipated that. 

3. The OL is bad at pass pro, so a comeback is difficult.  Everyone forgot about the ND game.  But when there was no choice but to pass, the OL showed why they had to be protected all year. Game Over. 

Why did Harbaugh keep running the ball when down two scores?  Well he didn't want to go 3 and out and have OSU light up the defense again.  Run the ball, get a big play, get back within a touchdown, keep the ball away from their offense. 


December 18th, 2018 at 12:00 PM ^

It's also not fair to yourself to think you can show up in that game, against that opponent, and run something you haven't run all year with any success.  I agree with others that you start with what got you there at 10-1.  When it became obvious that it wasn't working, then switch to the pass game.

Personally, I don't believe the switch to the pass game was quick enough, nor was it lasting.  Hunkering back down in the 3rd quarter doomed the team.  The punt and injuries destroyed all hope.  But I don't believe the initial strategy - do what got you there - was wrong.