Simple Stats on How Bad Our OL is

Submitted by Gameboy on October 9th, 2017 at 12:24 PM

Exactly how bad is our OL? I think these two stats tell everything we need to know.

We have played 5 opponents. If we calculate their average tackle for loss and average sack per game (sans the Michigan game) and add them together, you get 25.8 for TFL and 6.25 sacks. This is what our opponents have done when they were not playing Michigan.

If you add up TFL and Sacks for the games that they played Michigan, you get 38 for TFL and 16 for sacks. Simply put, our opponents (defense) registered 50% more TFL than average and almost 3X number of sacks than average against our OL.

That is a tire-fire level badness. You don't need to look any further on why our offense is so bad. 

P.S. There was a question about this stat not being tempo-free. I went back and checked and our opponents faced about 15% (at the most) more offensive plays than their average against Michigan. So adjust above numbers down by about 15%. It still does not explain that our opponents are registering 35% more TFL and 2.5X more sacks than against other opponents.



October 9th, 2017 at 1:47 PM ^

I didn't want to start a new thread about this, it took me years to get the points I got, but if just half the O-line he recruited panned out to average we wouldn't be discussing this. Heck, we probably would have won the game. And the Ohio State game. And the Iowa game. Hell, we could be national champions. 


October 9th, 2017 at 12:29 PM ^

such that the results aren't so ugly?

I mean, MSU's O line is equally as young and it didn't seem even UM's D line was dominating the LoS like that.


October 9th, 2017 at 1:12 PM ^

I hate to say it but Dan Antonio's misdirection in the first half was not complicated and took advantage of known UM defensive tendencies.

It seemed by the playcalling our staff thought we had Bama's O line aand were just going to knock Sparty off the ball (or ride complex route trees to TD passes).

It would seem we need to dumb it down a bit (but I was a SE and CB and don't really understand the O line).

Mork has outcoached Harbaugh in every meeting thus far IMO.


October 9th, 2017 at 1:25 PM ^

I said it when Borges was here and I will say it now. I hate complicated offenses. you only have so much time to practice, if your offense is too complicated you will never execute it properly with college limitations on practice time. simplify the offense, make sure you have plenty of wrinkles and counters so the defense doesn't know what's coming, and execute. more chance everybody is on the same page with regards to blocking and running routes.


October 9th, 2017 at 1:28 PM ^

First TD was gifted by Bush unsportsmanlike. Second TD was set up by a screen pass they've been saving all year. Their offense was absolutely dominated. We even outgained them by 50 yards, so let's not talk like their offense is anything to aspire to.


October 9th, 2017 at 1:41 PM ^

Not necessarily the offensive line per say, but how about stick with one back for Christ's sake? Higdon was having the best game and they kept insisting on shuffling all three. And when Higdon would actually gain positive yardage, let's go five wide deep routes in a monsoon! I said about ten times "run the football". Or for God's sake how about a play action screen? Or any play action!


October 9th, 2017 at 12:46 PM ^

You need tempo-free stats to make this argument.  Raw totals are heavily influenced by other factors, such as Michigan's dominant defense meaning that they get more offensive snaps than a team with a lesser defense would.

I'm not saying the OL has played well -- it hasn't -- just that this isn't the right argument to prove it.


October 9th, 2017 at 12:50 PM ^

Just taking a quick look, I don't think tempo-free would be much better. I can run the numbers tonight, but because of how bad our offense is, the number of our offensive snaps against the opponents of our opponents will be that different.


October 9th, 2017 at 1:19 PM ^

This is an absolutely perfect statement. They havent done as well vs teams not previously #7 in the country. Not by a long shot. Tempo... ha. What tempo? Our offense is Borges level right now.


October 9th, 2017 at 12:54 PM ^

I'm starting to wonder if the O-Line will ever be good again; it's been bad for like ten years now save a good left tackle here and there.

Perkis-Size Me

October 9th, 2017 at 1:18 PM ^

That's probably true. And it's horrifically depressing. 

2006 had a great OL. 2011 was pretty good by the end of the year, bowl game notwithstanding, but was average for the first half of the season. 2016 was good until it faced real defenses. Everything else was pretty awful. 


October 9th, 2017 at 1:20 PM ^

"... it's been bad for like sixteen years now ..."


Except for a few standouts (Jake Long, David Baas, Taylor Lewan, David Molk, etc.) it's been so-so or worse since the Hutchinson-Backus-Williams line.

Someone recently posted the picture from a 2006/2007 OSU game where the Buckeyes blow through the line. The misery extends past Hoke and RichRod into the Lloyd years.


October 9th, 2017 at 2:18 PM ^

Lloyd didn’t always have lines of the Hutchinson vintage, but even his later lines were much better than every one we’ve seen since. With the 2006 line on this team, Michigan is a contender for the Conference.


October 9th, 2017 at 1:02 PM ^

Against Purdue and MSU in consecutive games, Michigan has given up 8 sacks.  Those teams, coming into those games, had combined for 10 on the year.

Ghost of Fritz…

October 9th, 2017 at 1:05 PM ^

The stat he uses and the eye test suggests major o-line problems.  Skill development/talent problem at RT.  Communication/missed assignment problems everywhere. 

Lots of sacks.  Also too many no-gain or TFLs on runs.

One small but relevant caveat, at least on the inside run plays:  The play selection has been terrible.  And that is on who ever is the main play caller (Drevno?).  

Opposing Ds are usually playing stacked boxes and/or LB crashing gaps before even waiting for a read. 

Insisting on so many inside runs on 1st and 2nd down increases the negative running plays.  And it also makes for too many 3rd and long obvious passing downs, which increases the sack number.




October 9th, 2017 at 2:11 PM ^

Not to mention our RBs do a horseshit job of picking up blocks. I know it’s all the norm to rip on the OL right now, but I’m not sure why we need to say things like “look no further than he OL sucking as to why our offense can’t move the ball.” Guess what, RBs, QBs, and WRs have also sucked this year and our offensive game plan/playcalling has been awful too. I will absolutely look past the OL sucking and I will see that the entire unit is pretty pathetic


October 9th, 2017 at 2:19 PM ^

Because it is clear by now that our o-line is one of the worst in NCAA. That is hard to do when you have a couple of future NFL guys in there. The fact that we had so many seniors and NFL squad guys last year and only barely managed to be average should have been a big clue that we were in a serious trouble this year.


October 9th, 2017 at 4:06 PM ^

Your take is a bit shallow.

If you look at the same sacks allowed and TFL's allowed last year, we were 27th and 24th (similar to MSU) respectively, in FBS, at best, slightly above average.

The fact that we had seniors in skill positions and Peppers masked a lot of things.


October 9th, 2017 at 10:18 PM ^

Well yes, if you only look at tackles for loss and sacks, you could say that. But that’s waaaaaaay more shallow than actually looking at how the offense performed. Mediocre offensive lines would have plenty of trouble scoring 40 points per game.

Using sacks and tackles for loss as a measuring stick for an offensive line completely ignores tight ends, fullbacks, and running backs responsibilities in the blocking scheme. It’s like saying a baseball player who doesn’t get RBIs is not a good run producer. Ian Kinsler had 52 RBIs this year. Did he have that few because he can’t produce runs? Or was it because 20 of his 22 homeruns were solo homeruns? The entire tigers offense sucked at producing runs, not just Kinsler.

Our offense sucked last Saturday and the offensive line wasn’t good. But to take an arbitrary stat and come to a conclusion is not very good analysis