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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Bass Effect

An "innovative" play the Wolverines have been using this season that, to me, instead points out why we are so predictable on offense is the use of Antonio Bass lining up under center. I'm sure from the coaches POV, this seems like some wacky, freewheeling, almost-spread-offense type of play.

However, the reason I find this predictable is b/c, when you see that formation (and thus, when defenses see it), is there any question as to what the play is? No. It's a run by Bass. Period. You know he's not going to throw out of that formation (unless we're running it two or three times a game as a season-long ruse for the tOSU game).

Now, he's good and the play can pick up a few yards here and there but I don't get the "element of surprise" that we think we're pulling off. I almost feel like the thinking behind the play is, "See, we can go with a mobile QB just like other programs these days." But the big difference is, when tOSU or Pennsylvania State University or Texas, etc. etc. line up w/ their mobile QBs the problem is you have to defend against the run AND the pass. But when we line up in the U of M version of "trickeration," there is no real surprise as it's always going to be a run. Your thoughts?


Benny Friedman said...

I think we're running the same play over and over for one of two reasons. First, we're hoping that another team will see that formation, think just what you're thinking, and leave Henne wide open. Bass, who was a QB in high school, will recognize this and Henne will lumber for a first down. Second, by showing this play more than once, we force teams to at least work on it during practice, taking some of the 20 allowed hours per week away from something else that might be more important. That's why teams use the "swinging gate" on the PAT tries.
So far I have no problem with this play. It's picking up a few yards, and there's a chance that Bass - considering how fast he is - could break it.

Wangs said...

Doesn't bother me that we run that play. I was pleased that after throwing zero screen passes against Minnesota - 2 of our first 3 plays against Pennsylvania State were screens and we threw it several more times. Doesn't always work, but it can be very effective to pick up yards, slow down a rush, etc. What I'd like to see is a pump fake screen and then turn and throw it down the field to Manningham for a bomberuski. Of course, not sure that Henne has the ability to look off one receiver and throw to the other. he definitely has the ability to look off a receiver and throw it into the stands.

Also - I'd like more passes in the middle ofthe field - if I see one more throw to the sideline - I'll scream. Why don't we run the slant more in the middle of the field, play action, freezes the linebacker, slip Manningham behind him and let him operate in the open field (instead of pinned against the sideline?).

More thoughts - why did we run a tightend screen on 3rd and 19? In the history of the world, has a tightend ever broken a tackle. They are really offensive lineman who can catch the ball - and then fall down. Why run that play? No gain guaranteed. May as well run the semi-obvious draw on 3rd and 19, at least there's less chance for a screwup/turnover.

Yost said...

"Of course, not sure that Henne has the ability to look off one receiver and throw to the other. he definitely has the ability to look off a receiver and throw it into the stands."

LOL! And agree re: not using middle of the field. We always seem to think sideline pass first.

Yost said...

PS Hey, Wangs, we need to find you a picture.