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Michigan Football, Team 140, 2019 Season

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  • For any skeptics of the reality of the Gattis effect on the 2019 offense here is a really good Neck Sharpies article that contrasts last year's bread and butter run plays with this seasons run plays with the "add-on", 2nd level reads Gattis provides for the QB.

    Main points:

    (1) Clearly, M did not abandon it's core run offense: Pin and Pull, Down G, Counter Trey. Each of these plays has a read that directs where the ball carrier should go based on the reaction of the defense to the play as it unfolds immediately after the snap. Some of them are QB reads right after the snap and based on what the edge defender or Ss do - in this case, and in 2018, its a read option = hand off or keep. Some of them are RB reads based on what the blockers accomplish = I'm going into that hole or this one.

    (2) What Gattis adds is a 2nd level RPO. I talked about this earlier but MTSU was walking its Ss up and aggressively attacking everything M did that looked like one of their bread and butter run plays (A Scott Shafer specialty). The slant to Black was such a second level read. At the snap, the primary lead is the edge defender play side he crashes inside attacking the IZ run. He can now keep (the R in the RPO) or take the 2nd level read. That is the boundary S. Once the boundary S (the guy who is responsible for the slot) committed to the run, Patterson read that, pulled the ball, took the P option in RPO and hit Black in full stride. MTSU has a good free or field safety that correctly took a good angle and tackled black or that's a TD.

    There is great video and diagrams to make all this clear if you like Xs and Os. If not or don't have time, the explanation above should be enough to understand what Gattis is bringing to Harbaugh's offense that he has featured since his SDSU days.
    On Harbaugh's expectations for M football in 2015 (NFL NETWORK): �We'd rather be about it than talk about it."


    • The offense definitely had some tweaks. It was a little faster, the RPOs were more numerous, and we threw the ball a lot more in the first half.


      • It wasn't pace but it was clearly a different offense. It'll grow into itself. It's not the offense I'm worried about.


        • Dwumfour and Jeter didn't play. They're needed for the interior defense... I don't think they did it out of necessity but Hutchinson moved to 3T a few times (that I noticed) on passing downs when Uche came in, that helped get pressure via Uche.


          • Dwumfour and Jeter may be back for the Army game.



            • Stop the full back!

              The rest is easy.
              On Harbaugh's expectations for M football in 2015 (NFL NETWORK): �We'd rather be about it than talk about it."


              • I've read enough things in the last three days to conclude ........
                • Patterson may look good in practice but he is not playing well in live games and is the primary cause of the shit-show that is M's offense.
                • How the offensive coaching staff and HC have reacted to this real time situation should be called into question. Hannibal ..... hello!
                • I usually don't think byes are a good thing. This one is. The Gattis offense as it was executed by the players live was not ready for prime time when it debuted v. MTSU and failed catastrophically v. Army. I don't care what excuses are offered up - this is entirely on the coaching staff. M has 2 weeks to unfuck this.
                • Unfortunately, I don't think that the problems facing M can be fixed in two weeks. Patterson may look good in practice but he appears to wilt live. Couple that with how the coaching staff seems to deal with that and you have a recipe for a loss in Madison, Michigan football sleep walking through the 2019 season and losing, again, to it's rivals.
                • None of this is new. We've seen this movie before. Patterson's performance that seems to be affected by how he deals with pressure to perform under the harsh lights of reality represents a trend for M QBs under Harbaugh - every one of them except Jake Rudock. Harbaugh also has a pretty well established history at Michigan for turteling or sticking to a losing game plan when things don't go well on game day. This is especially true in road-games. You can argue that that sort of thing is an appropriate response. I can argue that it isn't and it affects the offense, including and especially Patterson, in a negative way.
                • I want more Patton out of Michigan's head coach and less Petain. Patton gave a series of what are now considered to be inspiring speeches to units of his Third Army leading up to and just before D-Day. HIs omnipresence on the battle field and the confidence in the troops he inspired by it are emblematic of the powerful impact leaders can have on the people serving under or with them. Petain, OTH, arranged an Armistice with the Germans after they unexpectedly blitzkrieged through Belgium the Ardennes and along the Somme to stand within striking distance of Paris. He turteled and that is his legacy and that of France in the face of tough challenges.
                On Harbaugh's expectations for M football in 2015 (NFL NETWORK): �We'd rather be about it than talk about it."


                • I wish I could find a way to argue with that Jeff.

                  And I'm impressed with both the Patton/Petain analogy, and the use of the word 'unf#*k".


                  • Michigan 20, BYE 17


                    • Seth at mgo does his Neck Sharpies piece this week on the scrape exchange. It turns into a better offensive UFR than Brian's - at least for the run game which is what Seth focused on. Here's a summary:
                      • Army was prepared to defend what they thought would be M's best play with Gattis as the OC: The Arc-Zone Read. They did this with variations of the scrape exchange, specific to the way Army runs this play (404-Tite) out of different formations. IOW, Army ran a different scrape exchange v. M. They did a great job of confusing Patterson's reads when Gattis called up an Arc-Zone Read.
                      • Patterson dorfed some of the reads, not all of them and there is a video of Warinner when he was on the osu staff talking about OL play in the face of a scrape exchange. That video demonstrated how both M's OL and Charbonett running behind it made their share of errors by not recognizing what Army's variation was and dealing with it.
                      • There's been this lingering question of why wasn't there a (run) plan to combat whatever Army was doing with the scrape exchange. There was - Gattis called plays that got Army in situations where M had more numbers on their flank (outside) than Army did. On those plays, Patterson inexplicably kept the ball.
                      • In the comments section posters asked, so fine, I get that the Gattis run game via the Arc-Zone or just pure Zone Read got stuffed because it wasn't getting executed well enough to make it work a couple of times for the chunk plays they are designed to produce. So, where was the quick pass to the flat when Army pinched all their dudes inside? Where were the screens? Where was the PA featuring 3 or 4 verts as Army gave up the deep safety and occasionally a CB blitzer?
                      • The answer to that with regard to the PA has to do with what had happened to Patterson on several drop backs featuring long balls: He fumbled one, was sack-striped and fumbled on another and scrambled on his third mistake trying to make a desperation throw that got M an intentional grounding call. When he had time, he airmailed three long balls. The OL, particularly the OTs, had trouble with Army's frequent blitzing that had a mitigating effect on quick outs and slants - in retrospect and from a game theory standpoint going to the mattresses and out Armying Army was a defensible call. It worked. How the coaches gamed M's last couple of possessions - two that got a heap of criticism for not kicking the FG on M's last regulation possession and the stuffed 4th and 2 on a previous 4th quarter drive - were all defensible decisions. That approach, with all it's warts, contributed to M pulling this one out. The late game strategy we called turteling could be called correct when viewed in the context of what the coaches were seeing on the field and decided to act on somewhere after M went 3 and out on their first possession of the 3rd. YMMV .... but you better be able to back that up and say why.
                      None of this changes my view that I posted just up thread on Patterson or the chances of M winning in Madison both because of him and how the coaches respond when he's not playing well. I will grant that playing Army, or any team running the triple option, including the other service academies, besides inviting games like we saw on Saturday by scheduling them, presents challenges that no other FCS or P5/FBS team will present. Folks are arguing and maybe correctly, M will look entirely different v. Wisconsin and for the rest of the season than they looked against Army. Army had a year to prepare for the game they just played and it looked like, especially on defense, they absolutely did and new exactly what they needed to do and did it. That probably isn't going to happen either in Madison or going forward in the rest of 2019.
                      Last edited by Jeff Buchanan; September 10th, 2019, 09:25 PM.
                      On Harbaugh's expectations for M football in 2015 (NFL NETWORK): �We'd rather be about it than talk about it."


                      • Army had a year to prepare for the game
                        Apparently M did, too. One of Brian's posts mentioned how much time they dedicated to preparing for Army in both spring and fall camps. Also, the entire "service academy!" argument loses its force when you pretty much whip them at their supposed advantage. Army didn't have one 18 play drive after another. They were by and large shut down. What M fans are bitching about is something that ANY team could do to M -- play good defense. As far as I can tell, there's nothing magical or annoying about SERVICE ACADEMY!!! defense. And when Ohio State played a pretty good Army team in 2017 there sure wasn't anything special about it.

                        If this game were close because M couldn't handle the triple option then it'd be much easier to write off. Oklahoma, e.g., had an awful time last year trying to stop the option. But this game was close because M couldn't handle Army's DEFENSE. There ain't nothing special about that unit. So, whatever the reason for getting housed by Army's defense, that reason is exploitable by other teams.

                        Now, I try not to form opinion too early in the season. M has a bye week and then plays a pretty good team on the road. If they win that game, then all is forgotten and it's CFP!!!!! and HARBAUGH!!!! and GATTIS!!!!
                        Dan Patrick: What was your reaction to [Urban Meyer being hired]?
                        Brady Hoke: You know.....not....good.


                        • This an annual observation, but they always lose me at the title "Neck Sharpies."


                          • Neck Sharpies is a Harbaugh thing. He usually (or at least used to) have a Sharpie on a string around his neck.

                            Attached Files
                            "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is sometimes hard to verify their authenticity." -Abraham Lincoln


                            • I know the etymology.


                              • Brian at mgo does this mailbag thing on Tuesdays. There were a couple of questions on Patterson and QB regression under Harbaugh and why isn't McCaffre playing more. Summating them:

                                Patterson continues to make bad decisions. He's been doing this since he arrived but it's hard to tease out the transition costs of the Gattis offense and some ceiling he might have reached.

                                Not about to call that or that he has regressed after two games in the 2019 season and a new offense.

                                Speight never had a senior season after the hit at Purdue and most of his problems before that are assignable to terrible OL play. Same for O'Korn but O'Korn did a lot of very bad things throwing the ball. He was intrinsically a low ceiling guy. Rudock was terrible the first half of the season and ended up getting drafted.

                                McCaffrey made read or throwing errors when he came in for MTSU and Army. If he had made those plays, he probably would have been given more playing time. Still a work in progress it would seem.

                                If there is one observation that I am hearing consistently and repeatedly it is that Patterson may just not be good - not JOK bad - but trending....... an advertised 5* that has turned out to be not as advertised. He did make some pretty well documented bad reads v. Army's defense who, it has been shown, were screwing with his reads - they did not run what is understood to be a scrape exchange but rather ran a delay version of it to prevent a read of the DE or the scraping LB. In this way, Army always had an overhanging DE or LB to attack the play AFTER the QB made his keep or give decision. The Gattis counter to this was to overload the play side to get a numbers advantage in the run play but there were execution problems with this. Then one has to consider the injury thing that seems to be a pretty good take. If the injury is as described, it is a factor in his bad throws. IOW, too early to tell.
                                Last edited by Jeff Buchanan; September 11th, 2019, 02:40 PM.
                                On Harbaugh's expectations for M football in 2015 (NFL NETWORK): �We'd rather be about it than talk about it."