Chip: Gophers' one-dimensional offense is not a sustainable formula

BleedGopher

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per Chip:

The Gophers offense will always be predicated on a grind-it-out running game. There needs to be more creativity though in the plan and play-calling to capitalize when defenses inevitably overcommit to stop the run.

Sanford's mission should be to strike the right balance that stays true to their offensive identity while also maximizing a senior quarterback and a receiving unit that has obvious talent. It should be possible to accomplish both.

The Gophers won a game despite not completing a pass in the second half with only six attempts. That's an anomaly, not a blueprint.


Go Gophers!!
 



Johnnyboy18

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I mean they threw it six straight times during the abysmal 3rd quarter. Very odd
 

MNVCGUY

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I mean they threw it six straight times during the abysmal 3rd quarter. Very odd
Still trying to figure out what the heck happened to the offense in the 3rd quarter....I mean we were lucky a few of those early passes didn't end up as picks and on the play Wright got injured on he was covered by like 4 guys. Just an absolute mess coming out of halftime.
 


Jordekorn

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Do yourself a favor, never bet on your favorite team(s). We lack the proper perspective, and there is plenty of money to be made elsewhere.
 


scools12

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The conservative play calling is hard to figure out. Experienced QB and OLine you would think they would open it up some. Maybe they don’t trust the WRs without CAB in there just yet?
 

Otis

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One offensive series in the third was three pass plays. All incompletions.
We usually mix it up. It’s what makes us hard to defend. So, is it the play calling or is Morgan reading the defense poorly?
Seems to me we can pass or run out of almost every play.
 



NotAFanOfBecky

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I think they gave up on the pass due to the drops. It’s time to maybe get some reps to the other highly rated WRs when this happens. But definitely agree we need to get some more diversity as the more dominant front 7s would eat their lunch with this approach. I’m most worried about the D. Line is just not very good despite the highly rated recruits. Mafe is hype it seems as he doesn’t really have much for rush moves when I watch. Would like to see more from him. MJ Anderson seems to be the only one who consistently is getting some semblance of a pass rush. Linebackers just don’t have the speed…Sori Marin has good instincts but is always a step slow to get there. Durr is solid but the rest of the backfield is not good. Safety play is very weak, but maybe because of being spoiled by a stud like Winfield I expect too much. These guys can all get better so I have hope but next week concerns me. Colorado seems to be a pretty good team and their running back is very good. Hope the coaching is much better against the Buffs because they were badly out-coached today.
 

cjbfbp

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Still trying to figure out what the heck happened to the offense in the 3rd quarter....I mean we were lucky a few of those early passes didn't end up as picks and on the play Wright got injured on he was covered by like 4 guys. Just an absolute mess coming out of halftime.

I felt like Morgan was feeling heat from the Miami pass rush a lot yesterday, perhaps visibly more than against Ohio State. He seemed to be scrambling a lot before throwing and throwing to whomever was visible. Some of those balls looked like drops but others looked, as you mention, like the receivers were crowded and getting hit while the ball arrived. Miami had only one sack but they had 9 or 10 tackles for a loss (compared to our 4) so they were getting to the backfield a lot. I would be interested to see if the poster who grades the offensive line does a report on this game.

The defense wasn't great yesterday but those two turnovers they got probably were the difference in the game.
 

cjbfbp

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Colorado seems to be a pretty good team and their running back is very good. Hope the coaching is much better against the Buffs because they were badly out-coached today.

Agree with the second sentence. As to the first, it appears that Colorado's top running back was hurt yesterday and left the game. I don't know if that injury will carry over to next game but they have other quality running back and their QB is an excellent runner (76 yards on 9 carries against Texas A&M yesterday). The latter scares me given that we always seem to have trouble with running QBs. Even Gabbert got 27 yards on 6 carries against us.
 




MennoSota

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With MoO stacking the box, did we ever complete more than one pass to the tight-end? I only remember one completion to Brevyn Spann-Ford. Why are we so weak in using our tight-ends?
 

Ogee Oglethorpe

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The conservative play calling is hard to figure out. Experienced QB and OLine you would think they would open it up some. Maybe they don’t trust the WRs without CAB in there just yet?
I'd be surprised if the offense looks the same against Colorado next week. This game as about survive and advance, roll the clock, work on a few different packages. No way Morgan throws it only 17 times next week
 

Some guy

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per Chip:

The Gophers offense will always be predicated on a grind-it-out running game. There needs to be more creativity though in the plan and play-calling to capitalize when defenses inevitably overcommit to stop the run.

Sanford's mission should be to strike the right balance that stays true to their offensive identity while also maximizing a senior quarterback and a receiving unit that has obvious talent. It should be possible to accomplish both.

The Gophers won a game despite not completing a pass in the second half with only six attempts. That's an anomaly, not a blueprint.


Go Gophers!!
It literally is the Iowa and Wisconsin blueprint


but it isn’t the blueprint if you don’t have a top 20 defense
 

Some guy

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With MoO stacking the box, did we ever complete more than one pass to the tight-end? I only remember one completion to Brevyn Spann-Ford. Why are we so weak in using our tight-ends?
Because we run a scheme where the TE is so heavily involved in blocking to the point where sometimes he doesn’t even have an eligible number. Hard to throw to that guy. TE passes just aren’t a huge part of the scheme. Kind of like how option pitches aren’t a huge part of the scheme. We never do that either
 

Grant

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Did D Wright return after leaving the game?
 

Word

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It literally is the Iowa and Wisconsin blueprint


but it isn’t the blueprint if you don’t have a top 20 defense
Michigan might be doing it now too.
 

Some guy

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Michigan might be doing it now too.
Yeah. And when their defense sucked last year they were bad. But most years they finish 9-10 wins under harbaugh without having a good passing game.

being able to run the ball even while playing conservative + a good defense = being in the mix in October almost every year
 

MRJ

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Not particularly thrilled that this coaching staff seems to prefer pounding their running backs into dirt. Ibrahim with nearly 30 carries per game last year and now Potts with 30 in his first collegiate start. That's way too many hits for a guy they're going to need the rest of the way.

Need a lot more balance than that if you're going to compete long term. Seems Fleck and Sanford want an all or nothing approach at the moment when it comes to either passing or running, but neither is sustainable as Chip so artfully points out.

Have to admit, I'm not feeling a whole lot of love for what we've been shown two weeks in.
 

Schnauzer

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Chip was spot on with that article. I agree with what others have said here. Just running your small-ish tailback 30+ times until he is injured and you need to turn to your next tailback is not a sustainable strategy.

I went into this season hoping the D would be greatly improved. I particularly felt the D line would be far better. Instead they both look to be marginally improved at best, and that is a problem. Also felt Morgan would return to 2019 levels and that hasn’t happened either. All in all I was outraged at the 6-6 and 7-5 predictions I was seeing from National and regional media. Instead, my own 9-3 prediction now seems to be the misinformed one.

If 2019 taught me anything, it is not to overreact to early season struggles. So perhaps here I am doing just that. Even so, you can only play with fire for so long until you get burned. The Gophers have the look of a team about to get burned. I hope I am wrong.

Also, this strange continual struggle with mediocre opponents isn’t new with Fleck. It drove me nuts during the Kill years too. For some reason nothing is easy with this team, even when playing middling MAC teams.
 
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Ogee Oglethorpe

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If 2019 taught me anything, it is not to overreact to early season struggles. So perhaps here I am doing just that. Even so, you can only play with fire for so long until you get burned. The Gophers have the look of a team about to get burned. I hope I am wrong.

Also, this strange continual struggle with mediocre opponents isn’t new with Fleck. It drove me nuts during the Kill years to. For some reason nothing is easy with this team, even when playing middling MAC teams.
I hear what you are saying here but not all games, or closer games, are created equal. Did anyone ever feel that the outcome was in doubt in this one? Even when the gap closed to a one possession game? I certainly did not, but maybe I'm in the minority
 

Jordekorn

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I hear what you are saying here but not all games, or closer games, are created equal. Did anyone ever feel that the outcome was in doubt in this one? Even when the gap closed to a one possession game? I certainly did not, but maybe I'm in the minority
We were in complete meltdown mode when Miami pulled within 1. The outcome was absolutely in doubt in my mind. Offense was doing nothing and I don't want to even comment on the defense.
 

GopherGangsta

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We were in complete meltdown mode when Miami pulled within 1. The outcome was absolutely in doubt in my mind. Offense was doing nothing and I don't want to even comment on the defense.
Exactly....one turnover and we could have lost that game in the fourth quarter.....It was definitely in doubt.
 

cjbfbp

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Did anyone ever feel that the outcome was in doubt in this one? Even when the gap closed to a one possession game? I certainly did not, but maybe I'm in the minority

I guess I didn't either. After all, this wasn't like the Georgia Southern game of 2019 where our backs were to-the-wall and we were in a one-shot do or die situation.

I was more concerned with visions of 2015. That season we started with a close loss to a very highly ranked opponent (#2 TCU at the time) and then proceeded to have three consecutive 3 point wins over Colorado State, Kent State, and Ohio. Turns out those struggles with lesser teams were a harbinger of a tough season where we finished 5-7. We made a bowl because there weren't enough 6 win qualifiers but we beat Central Michigan by only one score in that one.
 

PMWinSTP

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I mean they threw it six straight times during the abysmal 3rd quarter. Very odd
Fleck and Staff's inability or resistance to make in game adjustments shows up in a game like Saturday's. This has happened throughout his tenure here. Can't put my finger on it, is it preparation, stubbornness, lack of the right personnel/development?
 

Great Plains Gopher

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He’s not wrong. PJ always seems to go conservative when they have a lead, I’d like to see more of a killer instinct.
Yes, put the game away. Mason would do that when he had a weaker opponent. The Gophers should pass for at least 200 yards every game and run for the same - balanced attack, that should be the model even if not always achievable. Go for the jugular!
 






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