Thoughts on OL having the upper hand so far?

Submitted by Human Torpedo on August 20th, 2016 at 2:51 PM

Based on the practice intel that we seem to be getting, it appears the OL is more than holding their own against our supposingly dominant DL. IMO this is way more encouraging for the offensive line than troubling for the defensive front four. Although maybe our DL could be a bit overrated as well. I saw the same thing to a degree in the spring game. IMO this could be our most dynamic and balanced offense since 2003. Even better than 2010


I Like Burgers

August 20th, 2016 at 2:54 PM ^

Our DL will be fine.  They may appear behind becasue they are working on a new defense while the offense is in year two with essentially the same guys on the OL.  But in general, I'd take it as great news for both lines.  We know the DL will be excellent, and if the OL is holding up against them, then that bodes really well.


August 20th, 2016 at 2:54 PM ^

A. Definitely prefer to hear this than the opposite.

B. I'd pump the breaks a bit that this O could be the best in 13 years until we see what happens at QB. Or at least I'm going to.

Go blue.


August 20th, 2016 at 2:55 PM ^

Hard to gauge the offense yet with no idea who the QB is and that's a pretty big variable to the equation. A solid run game can do wonders to whoever wins that battle though. Also our D-line is sick, so wipe that notion out of your mind.


August 20th, 2016 at 2:56 PM ^

It's about time. That OL has a lot of experience and size. The DL will be going against much weaker units all year as the OLs in the big ten aren't that great. I'd love to see a few of the seniors turn the corner and put up all big ten or all American calibur seasons.


August 20th, 2016 at 4:20 PM ^

This isn't anywhere close to Ace Williams-y content as that guy is a complete hack and doesn't care how off-base or wrong he is.

This is a case of "I hear the OL is playing decent" so I'll extrapolate that to mean the line is as good as the DL and one of the best we've had in a long time.

I hope those things turn out to be true but let's get out of camp healthy and dominate a quality opponent before determining how far the veteran OL has come.


August 20th, 2016 at 4:47 PM ^

This is a case of "I hear the OL is playing decent" so I'll extrapolate that to mean the line is as good as the DL and one of the best we've had in a long time.

Dude, that's going beyond extrapolation and into delusion.  If OP is making this post just from hearing that "the OL is playing decent" then it's a pretty terrible post.


August 20th, 2016 at 10:29 PM ^

Oh I agree. Not a great post as it's basically the OP's opinion on a small sample size of player's quotes or second-hand impressions. 

Overall, we have a veteran group where 3/5 lineman have either underperformed or played just ok. The two others are a Soph who is *tentatively* the starter and didn't look great in the spring and a Jr who has played every position along the line before taking over at Center.

While I'm confident this OL puts it all together this year, when and what that looks like is beyond me.

Hail Harbo

August 20th, 2016 at 5:47 PM ^

Didn't have to pay a nickle to read this quote.

"They're really starting to jell," he said. "There's just times where you have moments of brilliance among all the offensive line. You'll have these moments where there will just be gaping truck holes where you can just (go right through). ... Not a soul around you. Just the way that they've been blocking during camp has been incredible. The development there, even from the bottom up, has been outstanding."


August 20th, 2016 at 10:28 PM ^

While they have a very good DLine, Wisc and MSU will provide enough of a measuring stick on how well our OLine has progressed during the season. No need to wait until the 10th! game of the season.

Hell, I'm sure we'll all pass judgement after the Hawaii game, deservedly so or not. 


August 20th, 2016 at 7:39 PM ^

Okay, well, there's a lot of vague information that doesn't amount to much, but I would say the biggest nuggets that I have taken away are that Speight is more or less the unanimous favorite/best in practice so far; Dawson is apparently making a legitimate push to start; Bushell Beatty also seems to be even with Newsome to start at LT; Chris Evans is a freak athlete who maybe gets more praise than any other freshman (including Gary). Also Crawford is apparently the best freshman WR, although Drake Harris and Mo Ways are solidly the backup outside receivers as of now.

Edit: I almost forgot but also Khaleke Hudson is getting tons and tons of praise and is likely going to play a lot, probably as much as any other freshman. This shouldn't be much of a surprise to us but it is nice to hear it reinforced from practice reports.


August 20th, 2016 at 8:56 PM ^

I can't wait to see Evans. It seems like he is similar to Breaston based on what people are saying. I always thought he was underutilized and it would be awesome to see that kind of talent playing for a competent offensive coach. Maybe I'm putting the cart before the horse but either way he should rip some big plays this year.

Perkis-Size Me

August 20th, 2016 at 3:00 PM ^

I hope this is a better offense than the 2010 offense. That unit put up video game numbers against teams with little to no defense. But whenever they ran up against a good defense, like MSU, OSU, or Wisconsin, they got completely shut down.

But yeah, I tend to agree about our DL. I think it could be very stinking good. Better than last year's for sure. But the best in the country? I don't think so.

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August 20th, 2016 at 3:14 PM ^

Actually, the 2010 offense put up decent numbers against Wisconsin (28 points, IIRC) and moved the ball against OSU but kept turning the ball over. MSU did shut them down, by forcing Denard to throw from the pocket. But still, if the defense hadn't been so awful that season I don't think we'd have so much revisionist history about the offense.

STW P. Brabbs

August 20th, 2016 at 4:01 PM ^

If an offense can move the ball but can't score, whether because of turnovers or mere red zon ineptitude, it's not a good offense. 


They did put up 21 non-garbage-time points against Wisconsin, ranked 43rd in DFEI that year. But they were humiliated by the DFEI 40th MSU defense.  

Overall, the 2010 offense had very good games against a good-but-not-great UConn defense, a very good ND defense, and a surprisingly good Illinois defense. They put up big numbers against horrible BGSU, IU, and UMass defenses, and they looked fairly good against middling Penn State, Purdue, and Wisconsin defenses. 

They looked bad to bed-shittingly bad against a mediocre MSU defenses and very good/elite Iowa, OSU, and Miss. St. defenses.

That's a mixed goddamn bag if I've ever seen one, and it shades closer to mediocre than good in my opinion.

Claiming 2010 as evidence of a Rodriguez offensive juggernaut is what's revisionist.


Points, DFEI rank (standout performance)

UConn: 30, #39

ND: 28, #11

UMass: LOL

BGSU: 65, #92

IU: 42, #102

MSU: 17, #40

Iowa: 28, #16 (14 points garbage time)

PSU: 31, #48 (7 points garbage time)

Illinois: 67 (45 in reg.), #18

Purdue: 27, #47

Wisconsin: 28 (7 points garbage time), #43 

OSU: 7, #2

Miss. St.: 14, #14


August 20th, 2016 at 3:28 PM ^

It seems silly that you think our DL will be better than last year but dismiss the notion that it could be the best in the country.  Our DL was already one of the best in the country last year, we lost only Henry (really, Ojemudia was hurt early and RJS wasn't exactly a star), we get Mone back and we add Gary.  I don't see why that can't be the best DL in the country.


August 21st, 2016 at 6:32 AM ^

Their DL is elite with the best combo of run stuffers and pass rushers. If it's one thing that Michigan is really lacking is an elite pass rusher.  Bama have Jonathan Allen and Tim Williams who are two of the best pass rushers in the country. Tim Williams, perhaps the best in the country after Texas A&M, Myles Garrett, is a phenomenal pass rusher.

Perkis-Size Me

August 20th, 2016 at 4:39 PM ^

I don't really know. Admittedly I'm just being a cynic because the visions of IU and OSU just flat out steamrolling our DL are still very fresh in my mind. Different year, I know, but we still had quite a bit of trouble stopping high speed offenses.

You might be able to say your usual suspects like FSU and Alabama, but while they do have talent, I'm not sure what their depth is like.

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August 20th, 2016 at 8:49 PM ^

But we also get back R. Glasgow, who was sorely missed against IU and OSU.  (Also recall perceptions here that Durkin had "checked out" by the time of the OSU game., after news emerged that he'd interviewed for his current position at Maryland that week.)  If people stay healthy, the D-line could be monstrous.


August 20th, 2016 at 3:03 PM ^

I haven't heard anything even suggesting this so far, but would be stoked if it is indeed true. It would almost certainly be good news, as DL was expected to be our best unit on the team.

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August 20th, 2016 at 3:44 PM ^

Yeah, I'll wait to conclude that the OL is indeed holding its own until we hear a serious upgrade in the chatter.

There is no way our DL is going to be bad this year. No way at all. I believe I remember Brian mentioning that news of the OL doing well against the DL would have to be good news given that the DL is one of the two position groups we are dead certain about coming into this season.

So if, in fact, it is true that the OL is holding its own... that is extremely good news. Like, check plane tickets for playoff games good news. A clear takeaway from the offense vs OSU UFR is that our OL was totally outmatched against an elite DL. OSU may have lost some serious talent from that DL, but they still have blue-chips, and MSU has McDowell, and if we have serious national aspirations teams like Alabama are totally loaded at that position. So the OL needs to grow up in a big way for us to have any chance of being competitive. Holding up against the elite DL we have is a good sign.

But the occasional paywalled message board thread that I can't read isn't enough to make me believe that this is actually the case yet.