CBS: What Minnesota star RB Mohamed Ibrahim's season-ending leg injury means for the Gophers offense


short ornery norwegian

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Each back seems to have some different qualities.

the question is this: will the Gophers adjust/tweak their game plan to account for the different skills of the RB's? If they come out and try to pound inside zone all game with Wiley and Potts, that might get you by against Bowling Green, but I don't think that works against IA or WI.

I hope they use the non-conf games to experiment a little bit with different sets, different personnel groups and different plays.

Bottom line, if a RB is better at running outside, then don't have him running up the gut. Put players in a position where they have a higher chance of success (and a lower risk of failure....).
 

gopherjay

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Potts will rule, it is his time and he will surprise. Potts will be huge in a no running back set or in motion. He will quickly be forcing a D to commit two people to cover.
 

FormerFatOL

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Potts will rule, it is his time and he will surprise. Potts will be huge in a no running back set or in motion. He will quickly be forcing a D to commit two people to cover.

It will be interesting to see if they actually do that and rearrange pass protection. The Gophs typically keep an RB in the backfield for pass blocking to help keep Tanner from getting killed.
 

FormerFatOL

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Potts will rule, it is his time and he will surprise. Potts will be huge in a no running back set or in motion. He will quickly be forcing a D to commit two people to cover.

I take back some of what I said above in #64 after going back and watching the O. Gophs went empty backfield four times with the RB split out (I think Potts all 4 times?). The first two times were ugly with big pressure and second two were completions. Potts has nice vision, can get the outside edge, and looks to have decent hands but doesn't have the tackle breaking ability of Mo.
 


skiumah1

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Potts will rule, it is his time and he will surprise. Potts will be huge in a no running back set or in motion. He will quickly be forcing a D to commit two people to cover.
I don't think you can give Potts more than 10-15 touches a game at this point with his injury history. Seems like a fragile guy. Would be nice to get him between 15-20 and maybe that is doable but still should be plenty of time where another guy or 2 will need to fill
 

stemar

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Bryce Williams has averaged 3.9 yards per carry in his career. I am hoping he is not where we are looking to go. I am excited to see Irving and Thomas get some looks. I think Potts will do well.
 

Gophergrandpa

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I’m just predicting off of who was being used vs OSU and who was used last season. Seemed like Williams was for sure behind those two.
I agree. But I believe Williams had COVID last year. Only available, prepared for a couple of games (?). Wiley on paper seems to have breakaway/ big play potential. But on the field he often looks tentative and runs too straight up. He also sometimes falls to ankle tackles, though he has been powering through tackles better lately.

Williams' body of work at the U is better than Wiley's--but it goes back a few years. Neither of these guys has been blessed with the "vision" that Mo has. But for some reason I can't seem to articulate well, I trust Williams more than Wiley, especially on pass protection. Both Wiley and Williams have shown (small sample size) that they are decent receivers out of the backfield. And I think Williams is as good a "bounce outside" RB as Wiley. The one who shows more dependability and success on inside zone runs, the Gophers' bread and butter, will probably move ahead of the other.

Anyway, the coaches see all and know what they want. I concede that they seem clearly to have chosen Wiley over Williams as #3 while Mo was at full strength--based, I suspect, on Wiley's theoretically higher upside. But does that mean Wiley automatically moves to #2 behind the clear lead back, Potts? Could be ... could be not. Different things are expected of #2 than of number #3.
 

Bob_Loblaw

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Bryce Williams has averaged 3.9 yards per carry in his career. I am hoping he is not where we are looking to go. I am excited to see Irving and Thomas get some looks. I think Potts will do well.
The vast majority of his carries came during his true FR season when he was forced into action because of injuries to our first 5 RBs in the depth chart.

Williams is a perfectly capable piece. He doesn't have much wiggle, but he runs hard, he blocks well and he is durable. He will definitely play a big role for the rest of the season. He also had a great run that essentially put an exclamation point on our win in Camp Randall. That said, I do agree that it might be fun to see Irving and/or Thomas a bit. I think they might be competing more with Cam than Williams though.

I think our offense will be a bit more pass-dominant. We will have three pretty good receivers, a good receiving TE, a good receiving RB in Potts. I just think there will be more pass protection required from our RBs this year than would have been prior to Mo's injury. Williams is now our best blocking RB.
 



WriterGoph

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Each back seems to have some different qualities.

the question is this: will the Gophers adjust/tweak their game plan to account for the different skills of the RB's? If they come out and try to pound inside zone all game with Wiley and Potts, that might get you by against Bowling Green, but I don't think that works against IA or WI.

I hope they use the non-conf games to experiment a little bit with different sets, different personnel groups and different plays.

Bottom line, if a RB is better at running outside, then don't have him running up the gut. Put players in a position where they have a higher chance of success (and a lower risk of failure....).

The staff is not gonna expose much of their plan going forward against Miami this weekend as they will want to keep Colorado guessing as much as possible. They will use as little of the playbook as they need to win convincingly on Saturday.

I just hope people don't overreact if we keep it vanilla...but message board, so...
 

FormerFatOL

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The staff is not gonna expose much of their plan going forward against Miami this weekend as they will want to keep Colorado guessing as much as possible. They will use as little of the playbook as they need to win convincingly on Saturday.

I just hope people don't overreact if we keep it vanilla...but message board, so...

There will definitely be overreaction. Not even a question.
 
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Jordekorn

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When we absolutely needed a touchdown to stay in the game, the Gophers did turn to Williams on the goal line rather than Potts or Wiley. Color me inpressed.
From what I recall he was in for pass protection the prior play. I hope I am wrong and he blows up. I just don't see it in his game.
 




Gophergrandpa

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Now, here's an interesting tidbit:

In Bryce Williams' freshman season he...

...rushed 33 times for 141 yards and also caught one pass for 35 yards against Miami

Now, here's an interesting tidbit:

In Bryce Williams' freshman season he...

...rushed 33 times for 141 yards and also caught one pass for 35 yards against Miami

That was as a true freshman in 2018. He red-shirted in 2019 (the Smith/Brooks/Ibrahim year) and had Covid issue in the shortened 2020 season. Now he is the forgotten man. I think he is a better all around back than Wiley, albeit with a lower ceiling perhaps. I hope Williams has a role now that Mo is down.
 

RememberMurray

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That was as a true freshman in 2018. He red-shirted in 2019 (the Smith/Brooks/Ibrahim year) and had Covid issue in the shortened 2020 season. Now he is the forgotten man. I think he is a better all around back than Wiley, albeit with a lower ceiling perhaps. I hope Williams has a role now that Mo is down.

I think he will. He's a senior, and unless there's some physical issue we don't know about, he almost has to be bigger, stronger and better versed in the offense than he was as a freshman. Back in 2018, it seemed as though they wanted to give him the ball — even though he was a frosh — to see what he could do.

It's only one (very brief) play, but I like the way he hit the hole for the two yard TD run against Ohio State. Physical. Confident.
 

Gophergrandpa

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I think he will. He's a senior, and unless there's some physical issue we don't know about, he almost has to be bigger, stronger and better versed in the offense than he was as a freshman. Back in 2018, it seemed as though they wanted to give him the ball — even though he was a frosh — to see what he could do.

It's only one (very brief) play, but I like the way he hit the hole for the two yard TD run against Ohio State. Physical. Confident.
Williams was 200 lbs in 2018, playing as a true freshman. He is 215 lbs today, playing as (I thought) a red-shirt junior. Have to check his eligibility “year.” He is our heaviest back, but still very fast. And he can catch a pass.
 

LakevilleBro

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I hope Ky Thomas gets some action. He reminds some people of Shannon Brooks. Come on PJ, get Ky some reps. GO Gophers.
 

hungan1

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Mo has spoiled the Offensive Line and Tanner Morgan. They've all synced in like a well-rehearsed orchestra. He can squeeze into an eye of a needle opening.

He was such a joy to watch. He'd fooled the defense because they could not see him in a millisecond behind the tall timber OLs, and he'd dart out like a flash. When they anticipated his move, they would be surprised at how hard he is to bring down.

I won't anoint Potts and Williams quite yet as the RB tandem. Injuries happen. We can't forget Wiley, Thomas, Jelen, and Irving. If any of these guys go gangbusters, PJ Fleck will let them play. He wants to put the best product that increases the chances of winning more games.

I can see a player like Irving remains redshirted. He's all the skills. Just not the physical maturity. He's better off bulking and maturing an additional year.
 

MNVCGUY

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I hope Ky Thomas gets some action. He reminds some people of Shannon Brooks. Come on PJ, get Ky some reps. GO Gophers.
I am actually really interested to see what he can do. Was bummed he didn't get any carries in the Spring Game due to injury.

Assume we will get a taste of all the available RB on Saturday. Going to be very interesting to see how the RB situation shakes out over the next few weeks as I am sure the staff wants to figure out who the primary guys are going to be prior to Big Ten play starting up again.

Who steps up and takes advantage of this opportunity....will make for an interesting angle to watch in the non-conf games.
 

Gophergrandpa

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Williams rushed for more than 500 yards in 2018. He had a game near 150.
He has 15 more pounds if muscle than in 2018, too. And he can still move when he gets to the outside.
 




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