Posted: November 30, 2013 in UME 2013
OSU 11-0          UM 7-4
It was around this same time last year that I ripped into Brady Hoke’s efforts to lead UM out of the recent RRod doldrums. In my 2013 The Game Preview I actually compared Hoke and Borge’s Offense to the Eton Wall Game. A year later it looks like I wasn’t too far off. I will now say some things I didn’t say during last year’s Preview.
Time’s They Are a Changin’ and ain’t that a bitch.
I’m speaking not of Brady Hoke or myself, but for all of us. Evolution can be exciting, but it can also be a real pain in the rump. The adjustment period is real and if you look around all levels of Football right now you will see all sorts of creative innovation along with a lot of creative resistance. Even Mr. Power Spread has his own resistance and lack of flexibility in the attempt to create the Time, Space and Team framework in which my two websites can flourish. Even sticking to my plans as stated in my PS State of the Union Addresses has proven an overwhelming task.
Just like Hoke, I have come into this gig full of knowledge, passion and with a plan. Hoke actually had a big experience edge on me as well. But a lack of flexibility, stubborn adherence to schemes and strategies that worked in the past, and an erroneous mind set has hurt Hoke big time. I certainly can relate, albeit on a much smaller scale. In fact, I’m sure a lot of us can relate. 
Michigan’s issues are not talent. It’s not necessary to talk about their players or breakdown the matchups. Nor is it essential to break down the schemes in a detailed manner. There are a ton of sites that will do this for you. Look at all the details you want, but the big picture and philosophy of what Hoke wants to do is the issue. Bo Schembechler isn’t coming back. Neither is the type of defenses that Borges used to rip apart with his pseudo West Coast passing schemes. Quick strike football mixed with down the field pass aggression.
Today one has to incorporate Power Spread – the more, the better. It’s not about pass first or run first offenses. Nor using the field deep, short, middle or wide. It’s about all of that – combined into a simple, flexible, variable scheme. It can incorporate Tempo adjustments in a variety of No Huddle and/or Huddle packages. 
Whatever is done – always remember the word KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid. Hoke, just like Mr. Power Spread, tends to be too smart for his own good. There’s too much going on and it’s simply not that hard.
Gardner is a talent – both with the pass and the run. Don’t make him read defenses like Peyton Manning. Don’t try to force him into the Old School Pro Offense. Use his legs combined with his arm and let the offense open naturally. The WRs will be open as the PS offense simply “Goes Where They Aint.” Variety is inherent within the concept. Matchups take care of themselves. No reason for all the complications. 
On Defense, former DC for Meyer, Greg Mattison, has some idea of this simple aggressive, but variable concept. You will see a decent defensive scheme from UM on Saturday. The problem is they will be going against a top notch PS offensive scheme that no one has figured out how to stop yet. Not even Nick Saban. 
Hoke is a good recruiter and coach. He also delegates well and has a nice touch, like Meyer and Saban, in picking good assistants. He just needs to loosen up some of his old notions, let go of the past, and move on forward into the future. I need to listen to my own words as well. 🙂
1- Stay Humble!
Part of my desire to rip on Hoke last year is that I felt a type of cockiness from him as he stood strong for Old School Pro Power Football. Even though he used a lot of spread sets and spread running. Well, this year the Buckeye fans and team seem mighty cocky themselves. Sure we have the better team and schemes, but this is THE GAME. Rarely is this an easy game – especially on the road. UM has talent. The coaches know how to coach. Yes, the schemes should do UM in once again, but human desire and anger can rise above anything. We better be prepared and stop adding fuel to the fire. Just my own humble opinion.
2- Does Urban loosen the reigns?
I am really beginning to think that all year Urban has reigned in OC Tom Herman. Is this the week he loosens up the reigns and let’s some more creativity fly on the offensive side of the ball. Yes, we have been scoring points and racking up yards. We have done what we need to do to win games. Recently we have done a little more in blowing out some mediocre teams. But the sign of a great PS offense is constant aggression in opening up the field, using the clock and scoring points. Even at the expense of some Defense. It’s the Defense’s job to find other ways to stay with a potent offense – not hold the offense back. That’s another story for another day.
My feeling is that Urban will only do as much as he needs to win. Why show all your cards with MSU and a big bowl game around the corner. The question is – how much will OSU need to do to get this victory?? I don’t think all Hyde/Miller runs up the gut with some screen passes and the occasional deep pass will cut it this week. And with the weakness of the UM safeties and LBs in pass coverage, I would really like to see the deep middle exploited more by both our WRs and TEs. Even our RBs. How about Dontre Wilson and/or Jordan Hall running down the seam from out of the split backfield? Or a fake shovel to Wilson then deep pass down the sideline to one of our speedy backs?
I think we will see more from Scholar Herman, but still not as wide open as I would like to see. More up the sleeve for the last 2 games is fine with me. Weather may be a consideration as it was the last 2 games, but for now it looks like better conditions than what the Bucks had to deal with against Illinois and Indiana.
3- No Rest for the D
After the high scoring PS offense of Indiana, many think UM’s offense will be a cakewalk for our improving Defense. Be careful. The switch could turn on quick, with talents like Gardner, Lewan, Green, Funchess and Gallon. Borges seems as stubborn in his schemes as Hoke, but he is a good one at using the quick passing game and can come up with some interesting stuff when he puts his mind to it. He was recognized as a top OC for many years before this “anti-PS” phase. 
I expect a lot of quick passing routes, play action and misdirection in an attempt to keep the Buckeyes D off of Gardner and the ball in the hands of his athletes. The question will be how much PS Offense vs Pro Offense that UM runs. If UM goes to the read option more or even the quick passing spread with QB rollouts and planned runs mixed in, OSU could be caught off guard a bit. Then from the spread, the beleaguered  but angry and talented UM Oline can start plowing its way down field for Green and the other runners. It has to come off the pass, though, and the Pro Set needs to be junked. If UM goes back to a lot of conventional 21 sets or a lot of switching of schemes, complicated reads and match up football, then it will be a long night for the home team. 


Just like last year I expect OSU may jump up quick, but from there I think OSU will come down a notch in energy and get conservative in scheme. UM will fight back in front of the home crowd. I wouldn’t even be surprised if UM is leading at half with Buckeye fans all over the country having horrible deja vu.
UM could pull off the upset, but I think the illusion will come to an end by the 4th quarter as OSU has played solidly in solid schemes all year long and UM has not. In a tight game the Buckeyes make the big plays to pull away late. Turnovers, Special Teams, Offense or all three. PS Football all the way!
Buckeyes in a close one at half, win 38-24. 
  1. […] UM or their offense so lightly. But the "In Form" team should make the big plays to win. powerspread.net/2013/11/30/wee… […]

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