Will there be any new offensive wrinkles for BYU?

Submitted by Wolverine fan … on September 21st, 2015 at 12:54 PM

After seeing Chesson run into the end zone untouched on Saturday thanks to a couple of great blocks from Poggi and Darboh, I am curious as to what misdirection and/or gadget plays will be in store for BYU. I hope that it doesn't come down to trickery, and that the running back committee is effective and produces enough chunk gains to make the game manageable for Rudock, but it's very likely that the Cougars come out with eight in the box and dare Rudock to beat them through the air. Unless Jake has a breakthrough game against a pretty tough defense, there will be a need for some play-calling creativity. I doubt that the offensive line and Smith can act as a battering ram and beat BYU like the last two opponents.

I am of the opinion that Peppers sees his first offensive snaps, there will be at least one more attempt at a jet sweep and that there will be a double-pass thrown off of screen action. Would love to see a trans-continental, but I just don't see it happening.

So, what do you think we will see from the offense come Saturday afternoon?



Wolverine fan …

September 21st, 2015 at 1:05 PM ^

Just saw the quote - Rudock is the best QB "...not by a small margin." So, we know the personnel is pretty much set, with some running back by committee to be seen, but what happens if they go down two scores in the second half and the offense isn't able to move the ball? There's gotta be something new to roll out. No huddle/tempo offense to wear them out?


September 21st, 2015 at 2:00 PM ^

Sure. Let's speculate. I agree that coming from behind doesn't seem all that easy with this offense so far. You have to be able to have a fairly competent passing attack to do so. What could the team do then? The screen game has worked really well with Darboh so put that on the list. Up tempo is always good, which you mentioned, so add that with a lot of short strikes as to lull the defense to sleep a bit and then a good seam route by Butt. What would be some of your ideas?


September 21st, 2015 at 1:00 PM ^

Wrinkles? Not exactly. But I do strongly believe that Rudock completes a couple bombs against BYU, and they really highlight Butt and Bunting, and use the fullbacks aggressively. All of this opens up both the runs and the short passing game for Michigan. And Michigan wins more convincingly than most people anticipate.


September 21st, 2015 at 1:03 PM ^

Every week we've seen some new plays and formations so it will continue. Harbaugh is a tinkerer. Always looking for that extra edge no matter what because although he may be happy he's never satisfied.

El Jeffe

September 21st, 2015 at 1:07 PM ^

I have to believe we will run a few more constraint plays. I doubt Harbaugh will be satisfied with just running into an 8 or 9-man box over and over like we seemed to (at least in the first half) against UNLV.


September 21st, 2015 at 1:10 PM ^

I liked the Chesson sweep ... this team lacks edge speed from the RB position, so utilizing Chesson's speed in that way was cool.

At this point it's pretty certain teams will cheat up and challenge Rudock to beat them over the top.  I have to think there's *some* plays that can exploit that don't involve a 40+ yard heave down the sidelines.

SF Wolverine

September 21st, 2015 at 1:13 PM ^

It just hasn't all worked.  We've run up the middle, and on the edges.  Have got the ball to almost everyone who's lined up as a potential receiver.  Have not connected on the long ball, although we've taken shots.  I'm not sure we need any "wrinkles" a smuch as we do just going out and executing what's called.  If anything, I'd expect the "wrinkles" to be around when certain plays are called, rather than adding new stuff.

Blue Balls Afire

September 21st, 2015 at 1:28 PM ^

Don't know about wrinkles, but I wouldn't be surprised if the full offensive package hasn't been installed yet.  I'm only going by my high school football experience, but we only had 75% of our offense by the first game.  New plays, formations and the rest of the offensive package was installed as the season went on.  We didn't have the full playbook until the quarter season mark.  I have no idea if college teams work that way too.  Would love to know from those who played college ball.


September 21st, 2015 at 1:33 PM ^

Not to mention it's a totally new coaching staff.  Plus, my understanding is that at Harbaugh's offense usually doesn't get chunk plays due to a ton of athleticism or long pass plays, but from creating confusion, blown coverages, and mismatches due to pre-snap motion and adjustments.  It seems to me that as the season goes on, the ability to do the pre-snap stuff will increase, and thus potentially boost the chances for longer chunk plays.


September 21st, 2015 at 1:43 PM ^

Anything new except for more formations used to create mis match opportunities. I do expect Drake Johnson will get quite a few carries. I think Drake is the ace in the hole and the staff is taking it slow until the meat of our schedule.


September 21st, 2015 at 2:00 PM ^

I think people are drawing conclusions a bit too early about Rudock's ability to compete a long pass.

How many has he attempted now at U of M -- 5 I think? 0 for 5 obviously isn't good but it's still a small sample size for a type of pass which typically has about a 40% completion rate (I know this is close to the rate for the NFL, I'm not sure about college)

In other words, for a large sample of quarterbacks throwing 5 bomb passes each. we would expect an average of 2 completions. 7.77% of these identical hypothetical quarterbacks who complete 40% of their bomb passes on average would still have 0 completions on 5 attempts, just by the forces of randomness. Because of the low sample size, this would not be considered statistically significant in the social sciences, let alone in a labratory setting.

The difference between 2 completions and 0 completions can easily be attributed to factors like Rudock being forced to release just a little bit early because of a D-lineman coming straight at him, or Chesson failing to adjust to a ball, or just sheer randomness and bad luck.

You can be sure that Rudock and his receivers are working hard on these passes every single day, and it's only a matter of time before we start seeing a few completions here and there in a game.