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I want to make it clear that this isn't based on any inside information - just pure speculation on my part.
I like the fact that Michigan is going to a pro style offense in the future. However, especially considering that Ohio State probably has the best passrush Michigan has faced in conference play this year, I really don't think it's a good matchup for Michigan to play the pro style offense for four quarters on Saturday.
Obviously, if Denard still can't grip and throw the ball, then the Wolverines have no other choice. But despite the fact that Gardner has thrown the ball much better than Denard over the past few weeks, I think Michigan's best chance to score and move the ball on OSU is to play Denard at quarterback as much as possible if he's fully healthy. Ohio State has struggled against spread attacks all year, and Denard can take it the distance on any given play.
With that in mind, here's what I would do if it's determined that Denard can physically throw the ball. I'd play Denard at quarterback running the spread on all plays that aren't long yardage downs (2nd and 15+, 3rd and 6+). On the long yardage downs, I'd put Gardner in at quarterback, tell Taylor Lewan to go make some money by stoning Simon or Williams, double Hankins, chip off the other edge with a tight end or running back, and take my chances with Gardner making a play.
Is it predictable? Of course, but isn't it always predictable when the offense is in a long yardage situation?
I don't think Michigan is good enough up front this year to run the ball consistently against Ohio State in a pro style offense. And over the course of four quarters, I think it could be asking for trouble if Gardner is expected to drop back and throw 30+ times.
What do you guys think?
This post was edited by Todd Worly 17 months ago
Best Case Scenario...Denard can throw a little bit. And we use the same gameplan as last game. A mix of the two....Devin at WR and QB and Denard at RB and QB. If Denard can't throw at all? Start him at RB, and give him about 5 or 6 touches and see how he does. Running as a QB and running as a RB are totally different. Seeing the holes and reading the blocks isn't the same either. I'm interested to see what happens, but I think either offense can move the ball pretty easily with either QB. With Denard it'll be on the ground and with Devin it will be thru the air. The only must of the whole situation is that both players need to touch the ball a lot especially since Toussaint is out.
"Those Who Stay...Will be Champions"
Jake Ryan on OLine? Now that is a bold game plan...
I believe you mean Taylor Lewan.
I am really torn on this. Denard was so effective in last years game but I really love the offense with Denard and Devin both playing QB. I think it gives us the most balanced offense we can have. Sure it might be a little predictable that we run more with Denard at QB and throw more with Devin at QB, but it has worked so far.
My bad - thanks for catching that. Was working on another article for later this week where I was writing about Jake Ryan, and accidentally put the wrong name here.
We'll let it go just this once
We have better red zone scoring with devin, imo. The run game has worked much better with Devin as well ,imo. I like Devin best at qb. With that said, I want denard in the backfield almost every down. Denard and Devin can switch around a bit, but I really don't want one qb sitting.g, then coming in and expected to make a big play. Devin has come out a little slow in the first quarter. He needs to be imvovled with the flow of the game. He needs to be at the helm. Denard can be a huge factor running.g and catching and can still provide us with his big play ability. But this is just my opinion Todd.
I think both fanbases are concerned on the situation.....we want to see both of them in the game simultaneously and ohio fans want to know what we're gonna do. Nobody knows exactly and it worries me.
Someone on this board said this, and I think it'd be awesome assuming Denard can throw..
We put Devin in at QB and Denard at RB/WR. Denard takes some snaps under center and only runs. Then in the 3rd or 4th quarter, we have Denard under center and they load the box because they "know" he's gonna run Then we leak Roundtree or Gallon out and Denard throws it deep.
Or denard could fake run and throw To a receiver the first ten plays without the defense understanding what's happening.
This is what i am hoping our first play is. Denard in the shotgun, fake run and hits a receiver streaking down the middle.
Talk about starting a game off right. Although I assume we would run him a few times to set it up. You have to think Ohio's going into the game thinking Denard will be healthy enough to throw.
There is a lot to be said about a QB getting into a rhythm. Todd, your scenario wouldn't allow either QB to do that, plus you need your best players in the positions that give you the best position to win. In my opinion, that's Devin at QB and Denard at RB or WR. Sure, put Denard at QB too, to shake things up...basically mimic, then expand on what they did against Iowa.
Did you just rewrite my post lol?
To whomever above, yes Denard had a great game last year but Fitz was there and running very well. Denard at QB focuses the D all on him. I think and hope that Borges saw something last week which would come to mind a Percy Harvin type package for Denard with DG at QB. Screens and options galore
His decoy prowess should be utilized efficiently as well.
Also, I expect denard to be even better this week. A whole extra week of practicing catching screens and route running should pay good dividends.
Denard won't be able to throw the ball effectively. Any talk of him being "close to 100%" is to force ohio to prepare for him at QB.
I think we will use him much like we did last week. We may see them try a short pass or two with him, maybe off of the jet sweep action, but Devin is going to be the primary QB.
How about having Denard and Norfleet deep on the kickoff, Norfleet fields it and fakes the reverse to Denard.... the whole buckeye coverage team would be overcompensating for Denard.
This had actually been done this year at the start of the 2nd half against sparty. It went unnoticed however because the kick-off resulted in a touchback. Haven't seen them attempt it since.
However, I was in shock in the student section when my sisters boyfriend and I saw it. It would be a great idea to try it again.
This post was edited by MichaelHardenII 17 months ago
I see what you're saying. I think Gardner is the much better fit for what Michigan eventually wants to become, but I don't think Michigan has the horses up front this year to play at a high level with that style. I don't like the matchup of Michigan's offensive line against Ohio State's defensive line. Because of that, playing Gardner most of the game at quarterback could force the Wolverines to become one-dimensional, which may present a problem when OSU's talented defensive ends can pin their ears back.
I think Ohio State's passrush is 100 times better than Iowa's, and Ohio State's safeties and linebackers are likely better than Iowa's in run support as well, so I'm not sure the same approach Michigan took against Iowa will work against OSU.
I understand your point about the quarterbacks getting into a rhythm, but Denard would be taking the majority of the snaps, so that shouldn't be a problem with him. As for Gardner, it's a win-win situation for Michigan. Either Michigan doesn't have any/many long-yardage situations (which likely means Denard and co. are carving up the Buckeyes), so Gardner doesn't get into a rhythm, or Gardner plays at least a snap or two every series, thereby getting into a decent rhythm.
I think Ohio State's defensive approach will have to depend on who's in at quarterback. If Gardner is in, pressure is absolutely paramount, as he's got the ability to pick the defense apart. However, Denard really doesn't, so it's honestly better for the defense to force him to stay in the pocket and consistently throw the ball accurately for 60 minutes. He hasn't been able to do that all season, and coming off an injury, I think the odds are that he won't do it on Saturday.
I completely agree with you regarding Ohio State's weaknesses on defense, and that's a major reason I think Denard needs to see most of Michigan's snaps at quarterback if he's at least close to fully healthy. He can make Ohio State pay for those mistakes, whereas Gardner and the pro style offense can't.
You know.. I actually remember this vaguely now. I think it will be even more effective after last week considering ohio saw them try to get the ball in Denards hands early and often while having Devin at QB.
I'm pretty sure we did it against Northwestern too, but they noticed and called a timeout.
Football (much like life) is all about penetration. Michigan has the chance to penetrate with both DG and DR on the field at the same time, switching it up who takes the snap....and the key with this constant back and forth and plethora of formations is that Ohios defense will not be in rhythm, which will make it easier to penetrate
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