Tag Archives: spread offense

An intriguing name for Michigan’s next head coach

This Bill Connelly piece on a potential (now inevitable?) Michigan head coach search in the near future is interesting for a lot of reasons, but the one that caught my eye most was the inclusion of Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen.

As a student of the history of the game and of course the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry, this possibility (if it’s even real, which may or may not be) is truly fascinating.

Why? Because it would almost perfectly recreate the dynamic of the most intense period The Game has ever seen: The 10-Year War.  Continue reading An intriguing name for Michigan’s next head coach

Maybe this is why Purdue has struggled on offense

At 1-6 on the year, Purdue football is clearly not having a successful inaugural season under head coach Darrell Hazell. 

I’m among those who thought hiring Hazell, who was the epitome of class when dealing with the media as an Ohio State assistant who regularly turned out NFL-quality receivers for six seasons in Columbus, was a good move by the Boilermaker brass, and that could still turn out to be the case. It’s early yet in his tenure, and I’m sure there was a lot to work on after the dysfunctional Danny Hope era.

But the offense has been, to put it mildly, a disaster this season, and perhaps this is why:

The offense seems to be missing something.
The offense seems to be missing something.

Yeah, I guess using only 10 guys is a good way to get to 90th in the nation in passing yards and 118th or worse in pretty much every  other major statistical category.

How does this happen? That’s a good question. There are plenty of options to fill out that last spot. While Wisconsin would probably go with another tackle, Purdue could list a third receiver or a second tight end – maybe even a fullback since Hazell seems to want to move toward more of a pro-style attack. 

Did they forget about fullbacks after all those years of pass-happy spread offenses under the Joe Tiller? There are a few guys listed on the roster as fullbacks, so that can’t be it.

Is this depth chart is a simple protest from a spread offense loyalist in the sports information department, or are they just waiting for the next donation check from Mike Alstott to clear? 

Of course there are plenty of other things for Hazell to worry about when it comes to restoring the Purdue program, but hopefully we can get to the bottom of this sooner or later.

Buckeyes Want To Add Read, Speed in 2013

Ohio State’s first season in Urban Meyer’s spread offense was a big success by most measures, but the head coach and his offensive coordinator want much more in year two. We examine how they can improve and take a look at a past example of an OSU offense going from good to great in its second season with a new attack – Scout.com: Buckeyes Want To Add Read, Speed in 2013

The Ohio State Spread: A post-evolutionary arrival

I cannot hide from the fact I have been a pure spread skeptic. Or, perhaps more accurately, a skeptic of the pure spread.

As the movement evolves, I can, too, right? Sure, why not?

While the benefits of spreading a team out to use more of the field are clear, it is also easy to paint one’s self into a corner with systems that do not utilize all types of players and plays.

So as far as that goes, Ohio State fans should be happy to see the spread movement coming to Ohio State only after it has had time to more fully mature. Continue reading The Ohio State Spread: A post-evolutionary arrival

Will Versatility Mask Lack of Explosiveness in Buckeye Offense?

My No. 1 takeaway from Ohio State spring football: There are lots of good pieces available on offense, but I don’t think they are distributed in the most natural way for them to be used.

Ohio State’s offense warms up for the 2012 spring game

Head coach Urban Meyer’s system is based on combining the space created by spread (i.e., three receivers or more) formations with the power of good ol’ fashioned Midwest football. Essentially he wants to run Woody Hayes’ plays without facing as many defenders in the box as the Hall of Fame coach did. Why try to win with eight blockers on nine when you can make force the defense to play seven on eight? (Hayes was comfortable playing nine on 10 for that matter, but the old man went through his own evolutions during his time in Columbus, expanding from the “T” to the “I” in 1968 in a move that in some ways resembles the move from the I to a one-back offense these days but is much different in others.) Continue reading Will Versatility Mask Lack of Explosiveness in Buckeye Offense?