Was D'Antonio sending a message

Submitted by 991GT3 on October 8th, 2017 at 12:20 PM

when he quipped that Michigan used 40 different offensive formations in the first half? Harbaugh's offense is pro style which is complex and requires exacting execution. Is it too much for kids recently out of high school to aborb? Should Harbaugh use an offense that fits the players he has.

Don Brown defense is predicated on the talent of the players he has and recruited. The results are obvious.

Maybe the answer to Michigan's offensive woes is to simplify offensive assignements. This includes blockng schemes, pass routes and play calling. Harbaugh doesn't have a Andrew Luck and needs to adjust.



October 8th, 2017 at 12:59 PM ^

Fire Drevno and bring back Fisch and give all the OL to Frey. Fisch was the catalyst for the dynamic passing game that developed in 2015, coached WR's and QB, both of which are worse this season now that he's gone. Frey will have the line playing solid if given the full reigns. Drevno is below average at best as an OC; planning and playcalling has been inconsistent at the very least this season with some decent calls followed up by WTF WAS THAT SHIT???


October 8th, 2017 at 1:52 PM ^

True about sputtering down the stretch last year, BUT, rumor is that Drevno and Fisch didn't see eye to eye and Drevno put the nix on a lot of the passing stuff that Fisch wanted to do and ran his boring ass, un-creative monstrosity that we've been seeing the last 2 seasons. The frustration by Fisch about all that and their differences was supposedly the biggest reason for Fisch leaving.


October 8th, 2017 at 12:23 PM ^

Offense is simple:

1st down: run power for little or no gain

2nd down: play action for a sack

3rd down: forced throw that is dropped or nearly picked




October 9th, 2017 at 8:32 AM ^

I can’t even agree. When you have a shaky QB and OL, you don’t want to be in obvious passing downs. So you pass more on early downs and try to throw into favorable coverages, as counterintuitive as that seems. Or that’s one way to try to generate a passing game, anyways.

Maybe your suggestion works. Maybe not. How confident are you that we could sustain a drive running? Or how confident are you that we could convert some third and longs? Probably not confident in either. Which is why I won’t ever criticize playcalling with this team. We just aren’t very good at offensive football, and I dontt think the sequence of plays will change that to any appreciable degree.


October 8th, 2017 at 12:27 PM ^

We want to be Bama but we don't have the players to execute this style of offense.

Harbaugh wants to be able to control the line and run down throats. We can't do that with this line. That is something directly to blame against Harbaugh.

Dorothy_ Mantooth

October 8th, 2017 at 12:42 PM ^

UM & Harbaugh runs an offense like talent-heavy AL (pre-mobile QB/Hurts); and the only thing UM lacks (from AL) is 4-5 OL that'll be playing in the NFL within the next two years

UM's run game is frustratingly (for fans) predictable - very little misdirection or deception - opposing D-coordinators have to love scheming against it.  UM will continue to struggle against quality defenses

...and it would help to have a RB that can actually break a tackle or two - Higdon is the only one that 'occasionally' will break a tackle... Evans and Isaac typically crumble at first contact

Ghost of Fritz…

October 8th, 2017 at 12:47 PM ^

The problem is not complex.  JH needs to adjust the game plans to the reality of the offensive personnel/quality/inexperience. 

It is not really a problem of too many offensive sets confusing players.

More a problem of poor game plans given the personnel and also very poor play selection within the offensive game plans. 

The game plans are asking to o-line to perform in a way that it is not yet capable of performing.  They need to accept that this line is not going to open holes for 250 yards of rushing against decent teams.  Need to work around the realities of the level of line play, adjust the game plans accordingly. 

And the play selection is both incoherent (ex. going away from the run after the Issac fumble, but then improbable passes in a driving rain, and failing to go deep again after the deep TD pass called back), unimaginative, and also fails to scheme what the D is giving and the mismatches M can create (hello! Gentry all day please,and especially in the red zone instead of dumb fades to short slot guy). 


October 8th, 2017 at 12:29 PM ^

..but once again outcoached us. His players are always less talented but he gets the most out of them.
His D won the game by getting turnovers...ours did not


October 8th, 2017 at 12:29 PM ^

My impression is that Harbaugh's been a bit checked out this year for whatever reason, and the team is essentially coached by Brown and Drevno. I admittedly have no idea what Pep brings to or negates from the scene, but superficially this has the feeling of an offense guided by a O Line coach.


October 8th, 2017 at 12:53 PM ^

Looks better than a team guided by a D line coach.

Maybe he realizes he has a young offense though sometimes you need to show some fire to light certain guys up.  Not sure who those players are and maybe he doesn't yet know either.


Maybe he's keeping it calm with all the Amazon Studios filming following the program.  Would you want to see a series on ND last year with the headcase they have at head coach?  Honestly I would, too!  But not if it were my coach and my team.


I doubt he's checked out.  I'm sure he realizes the team he has and getting upset or emotional about it isn't going to change anything for the team.  Calmer heads prevail.


October 8th, 2017 at 7:45 PM ^

Not checked out. I think that is dialed in.
Remember, they changed the sideline rules for coaches and demostrative behavior this year, so he has to be more subdued outwardly. They have questions at QB, at OL, at receiver, all who look in over their head sometimes. So I think this is just the response of a coach who feels that in this case, it's better to calm things down,


October 8th, 2017 at 12:33 PM ^

MSU uses the pro-style.  Not sure what your point is. 

Any coach not using an offense that fits the players he has is stupid.  (but its not like the complete system has to change, you just optimize it for the players you have) 


October 8th, 2017 at 12:34 PM ^

Dantonio and his team of coaches did a very good job with his team. He took advantage of the Michigan defense speed, aggression and youth - by using misdirection. Something that Purdue also did with success. But the defense settled down and essentially kept the Spartan offense bottled upon with no points in the second half and very few non-penalty yards.

When the weather turned bad, any semblance of a passing game went away and basically they stuck with trying to run Lewerke - and actually that worked just enough for them to possess the ball for enough time given the woes of the Michigan offense.

So is the Michigan offense too complex? Maybe it asking too much for some players. The QB and receiver positions are being expected to make a lot of reads and adjustments. It may be the kids are not up to all that it is asked of them right now.

But that is part of the appeal of Harbaugh and his team, he is showing them what they have to do if they want to "play at the next level" that so many profess is their sports ambition. 

The play calling and design is something that the coaches have to face. They need to re-look at some of their calls and designs.

They've twice tried to run a draw play from a shot gun set that has failed miserably. Last year, the draw from under center worked well because the deep dropback of the QB help sell the play and enouraged the DL to begin their stunts and charge. Ironically the same play from a shotgun tips the play too soon and the DL and LB are not yet caught in their pass defense assignments and so can react and smother the play. This happened against AIr Force I believe as well.

Finally, remember that at QB, neither Speight or O'Korn or the preferred recruits for that position. Harbaugh when he arrived quickly got Rudock, and picked up O'Korn probably because he wasn't thrilled with what he had after Rudock. Speight was one of the last Hoke recruits. He developed into a better QB but now is out. You have to play with who you have so we'll see how the season plays out.


October 9th, 2017 at 9:50 AM ^

Counterpoint: they got 7 points off of five turnovers. I’ve watched a lot of football and never seen something like that. Had we won the game on a Hail Mary, D’Antonio would be rightly getting pilloried for that incompetence..

We threw them the football, allowed them to pull it from our hands, and lost a football in the stupidest manner by fighting for a few pointless inches. That’s it.


October 8th, 2017 at 12:38 PM ^

It's interesting to see all the ripping on Mike Hart from Michigan fans , yet is he not the guy that actually took the MSU game personally and trucked those mother fuckers every year to a 4-0 record.    


October 8th, 2017 at 12:39 PM ^

I really feel like they run far too complicated of concepts, especially for a young team. I think his concepts are based on precision and timing and that works if you have an experienced team or are NFL players. I do feel like it's not a best case scenario for college though. I kind of look at it like the schemes Beilein runs and when we have a very young team they struggle with them majorly. When they are upper class men then our teams are very good. I feel like Harbaugh will have a really good team every 3-4 years and if the breaks go our way we will compete for bigger prizes. Some times you just have to win the game and the first half last night and the Iowa game last year come to mind there. Harbaugh seems like he's gonna stick with those schemes come Hell or high water and it's gonna cost us sometimes. I think they need to get more college oriented to compete every single year. There's a reason why he won't play either of the young qb's and that is because of the complicated schemes as opposed to talent. If I'm a five star I'm prob not coming here because he's not showing he will play you.