With Brian's latest UFR out showing the tire-fire that is our pass protection, I thought I'd point out a glowing light amidst the darkness:
Michigan's pass pro out of the shotgun empty formation has been nearly flawless!
Coming into the game, Michigan ran the Shotgun empty formation on 12/77 passing attempts. Brian charted them with perfect protection on 11 out of those 12 attempts. The only 0/2 was on a redzone play against Air Force, where a zero blitz defensive call RPS -1 was the main culprit.
In this formation, Speight was 9/12 for 11.5 yards/attempt (with 1 INT on the play where he TacoPantsed a wide-open Perry against Florida).
In the Purdue game, O'Korn had 4/38 pass attempts out of the shotgun empty formation. Brian charted the protection at 7/7.
O'Korn was 3/4 for 15.5 yards/attempt. The sole incompletion came on the play where Brian notes, "If he can catch and run here he’s getting 20 yards. JOK wings it wide and Perry can’t bring in a difficult diving fingertip catch...RPS +2."
We were all excited about the prospects of the 5 wide coming into the season, and early returns have been extremely promising. Based on a rewatch of those specific passing plays, it seems like the OL communication issues are mitigated by the easier reads. They don't have to worry about whether or not they are getting help from another OL, TE, or RB; it is simply mano-a-mano, and so far the OL has thrived in that situation. When the defense sends a blitz, the QBs are 1 for 2 on attempts to stand up to the rush and make them pay (O'Korn's loft to Gentry for the targeting And-1).
Small sample sizes apply (16/115 passing plays), but hopefully we see more of this formation moving forward.
Edit, for reference compared to another formation: Michigan lined up in some variation of shotgun (not including empty) on 48% of passing plays. I slightly modified the UFR scoring system such that a 0/3 protection is -3, 1/2 is -1, 1/1 is +1, 3/3 is +3, etc.
Using that scoring system, Michigan's pass pro averaged 0.26 out of the Shotgun, compared to 1.9 out of the Shotgun Empty set.