[Post Game] Spring Game Reactions

MNVCGUY

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I'm a full fledged member of the "the run does not setup the pass" club. I just don't think that's a thing.

Time and again you see teams who run well, but still can't get a good passing game going. I just don't think they're that tightly connected / that defenses sell out 'enough' to have the run setup the pass.

You either have the tools to pass and you can do so... or you just don't no matter how well you run.

I do think that a great passing game can help the run... but possibly only because teams will give the running game much more room to avoid big passing plays, and because IMO it's easier to run generally speaking.
A big part of why our offense was great in 2019 was that when teams stacked the box we threw and when they dropped back in coverage we ran. You obviously have to have skill in both areas to be successful but the two do go hand in hand. If you can force the safeties to need to come up and stop the run it is going to make it much easier to find open space as a receiver.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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A big part of why our offense was great in 2019 was that when teams stacked the box we threw and when they dropped back in coverage we ran. You obviously have to have skill in both areas to be successful but the two do go hand in hand. If you can force the safeties to need to come up and stop the run it is going to make it much easier to find open space as a receiver.
I dunno I swear most of our successful crossing routes still had safeties behind them.

I think they make most or all of their passing plays none the less.... outside of say a scnerio where they have 0 running game.
 

pharmacygopher

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I dunno I swear most of our successful crossing routes still had safeties behind them.

I think they make most or all of their passing plays none the less.... outside of say a scnerio where they have 0 running game.
I thought a lot of those slants came off the RPO where the LBs moved up to play the run and opened up the passing lane. Without an effective run game, no reason to cheat up to play the run. That would negatively impact the passing game.

Hopefully Gophers are 2019 effective with the RPO game. That thing was clicking.
 

Spaulding!No!

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I'm a full fledged member of the "the run does not setup the pass" club. I just don't think that's a thing.

Time and again you see teams who run well, but still can't get a good passing game going. I just don't think they're that tightly connected / that defenses sell out 'enough' to have the run setup the pass.

You either have the tools to pass and you can do so... or you just don't no matter how well you run.

I do think that a great passing game can help the run... but possibly only because teams will give the running game much more room to avoid big passing plays, and because IMO it's easier to run generally speaking.
U of M qbs of the past haven’t really given us enough quality to prove or disprove any of this.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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I thought a lot of those slants came off the RPO where the LBs moved up to play the run and opened up the passing lane. Without an effective run game, no reason to cheat up to play the run. That would negatively impact the passing game.

Hopefully Gophers are 2019 effective with the RPO game. That thing was clicking.
I mean if the measurement is 'effective' ... then yeah it helps, but that's a low bar IMO.

People cheat on the run game or play run defense even against mediocre run games to get an advantage.
 


A_Slab_of_Bacon

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U of M qbs of the past haven’t really given us enough quality to prove or disprove any of this.
I would argue Mason had some good running teams ... QBs didn't seem to be suddenly better / helped much that mattered IMO.
 

matt

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I'm a full fledged member of the "the run does not setup the pass" club. I just don't think that's a thing.
I think people often overestimate the relationship, but I think some schemes do allow the run to set up the pass. I think the 2019 offense was one of those schemes. There were some big pass plays in 2019 that were successful because the WR initially faked a block before releasing downfield. I think that is a good example of the run setting up the pass, and the Gophers’ 2019 YPA reflected that.
 

MNVCGUY

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I would argue Mason had some good running teams ... QBs didn't seem to be suddenly better / helped much that mattered IMO.
Our passing game under Mason was better than a lot of people gave it credit for. It wasn't a very creative passing game but they were good at what they were asked to do and took advantage of defenses loading up on the run.

The Mason years teams struggled with teams that were able to contain the running game and defense was always a sore spot with those squads (with a few exceptions like 1999). Once a team made the in game adjustments needed to slow down our rushing attack, the coaching staff at that time struggled to come up with a counter strategy.
 

Bob_Loblaw

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I dunno I swear most of our successful crossing routes still had safeties behind them.

I think they make most or all of their passing plays none the less.... outside of say a scnerio where they have 0 running game.

They had safeties behind them but the passing lanes were wide open because the linebackers were all had to jump up. If we didn't have much of a running game, teams wouldn't have had to choose between doubling TJ or doubling Bateman.

I agree that you don't have to run to set up the pass, but (IMO) it certainly keeps teams on their heels.
 



A_Slab_of_Bacon

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Our passing game under Mason was better than a lot of people gave it credit for. It wasn't a very creative passing game but they were good at what they were asked to do and took advantage of defenses loading up on the run.

The Mason years teams struggled with teams that were able to contain the running game and defense was always a sore spot with those squads (with a few exceptions like 1999). Once a team made the in game adjustments needed to slow down our rushing attack, the coaching staff at that time struggled to come up with a counter strategy.
Mason also threw to the TE more.

The GopherHole circle is now complete.

This is the way.
 

Gopherlife

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Our passing game under Mason was better than a lot of people gave it credit for. It wasn't a very creative passing game but they were good at what they were asked to do and took advantage of defenses loading up on the run.

The Mason years teams struggled with teams that were able to contain the running game and defense was always a sore spot with those squads (with a few exceptions like 1999). Once a team made the in game adjustments needed to slow down our rushing attack, the coaching staff at that time struggled to come up with a counter strategy.
There really were almost no teams that could slow down the Gopher rushing attack during some of those years. Maybe Iowa, but even they struggled to contain it. As you mentioned, the lack of defense was the glaring issue.
 

BilldGopher

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In that Friday night game Maroney, Barber, and Tapeh were advancing 6, 7, 8 yards a carry. The bad guys that night had no answer on defense.

If anything we needed to slow things down but the other guys just didn't help.

We also had an outstanding center and TEs then too. Gordy Shaw's boys were men in those days too.
 

PMWinSTP

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In that Friday night game Maroney, Barber, and Tapeh were advancing 6, 7, 8 yards a carry. The bad guys that night had no answer on defense.

If anything we needed to slow things down but the other guys just didn't help.

We also had an outstanding center and TEs then too. Gordy Shaw's boys were men in those days too.
Eslinger pulling and leading the way was a thing of beauty...
 



Full Speed Ahead

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A big part of why our offense was great in 2019 was that when teams stacked the box we threw and when they dropped back in coverage we ran. You obviously have to have skill in both areas to be successful but the two do go hand in hand. If you can force the safeties to need to come up and stop the run it is going to make it much easier to find open space as a receiver.
Not so much the safety, but the linebackers. If linebackers have to shoot gaps to stuff a run, then there will be more passing routes that are open. As a linebacker you get to choose, focus on stopping the run or focus on dropping into pass coverage.
 

btowngopher

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Not so much the safety, but the linebackers. If linebackers have to shoot gaps to stuff a run, then there will be more passing routes that are open. As a linebacker you get to choose, focus on stopping the run or focus on dropping into pass coverage.
Not to mention play action becomes more effective with a dangerous run game I would imagine.
 

Gophergrandpa

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Not so much the safety, but the linebackers. If linebackers have to shoot gaps to stuff a run, then there will be more passing routes that are open. As a linebacker you get to choose, focus on stopping the run or focus on dropping into pass coverage.
Yes, but as Slab of Bacon said above, if the running game is very effective, many defenses will start to bring a safety closer to the line of scrimmage (creating an 8 man box). This doesn't make our WRs or TEs any better at catching the ball, but it often makes the slant route more open for a moment or two (or creates a downfield home run opportunity). When our RPO running game is working well, the QB's key is often what the run-side safety--who is put in a real quandry--does immediately after the snap. If the safety stays back, Morgan hands off; if safety moves down into the box, Morgan pulls the ball and throws. One of the reasons Morgan has been so effective in our RPO offense, I think, is because he makes this read well.
 
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A_Slab_of_Bacon

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Yes, but as Slab of Bacon said above, if the running game is very effective, many defenses will start to bring a safety closer to the line of scrimmage (creating an 8 man box). This doesn't make our WRs or TEs any better at catching the ball, but it often makes the slant route more open for a moment or two, if the WR gets inside position on the CB or nickel back. When our RPO is working well, the QB's key is often what the run-side safety--who is put in a quandry--does immediately after the snap. If safety safety stays back, Morgan hands off; if safety moves down into the box, Morgan pulls the ball and throws. One of the reason Morgan has been so effective in our RPO offense, I think, is because he makes this read well.
Yeah that's my thing.

Like Morgan is good at QB so he can take advantage ... but not because of the run as much as he's just good at QB and the WRs are there and the OL, and someone called the right play... and that's just way more important. With all that the fact that the run game is good really isn't that huge a factor anymore.

Any 'help' the run game gives to the offense comes so long after so many other factors ... by the time the offense is good enough to take advantage, the offense probably does pretty well anyhow.

I do suspect it goes the other way a bit more, passing (more so big play type passing) can help the run if only because I think defenses generally respond more dramatically / will go into more prevent-ish defenses to avoid big passing plays and even so-so run games can take advantage more often.
 


Spaulding!No!

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2020 TCU was toward the bottom of the big 12 in passing yards. Rutm continues to cash big paychecks for crap results.
 

Gophergrandpa

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Yeah that's my thing.

Like Morgan is good at QB so he can take advantage ... but not because of the run as much as he's just good at QB and the WRs are there and the OL, and someone called the right play... and that's just way more important. With all that the fact that the run game is good really isn't that huge a factor anymore.

Any 'help' the run game gives to the offense comes so long after so many other factors ... by the time the offense is good enough to take advantage, the offense probably does pretty well anyhow.

I do suspect it goes the other way a bit more, passing (more so big play type passing) can help the run if only because I think defenses generally respond more dramatically / will go into more prevent-ish defenses to avoid big passing plays and even so-so run games can take advantage more often.
The folks on this thread might just be using different terminologies. One says the run game sets up the passing game; another says the passing game becomes more effective when the D (LBs and safeties) are forced to respect the running game, i.e., commit extra resources in the box. Both statements are the same, at the concept level. Sometimes the pass "sets up" the run by forcing teams to "respect" the downfield pass (forcing both safeties to stay home). I have seen the Gophers open some games throwing downfield in order to rattle teams that have started the game in an 8 man box because "they aren't going to let MO beat them." Urban Meyer had a great segment on the B1G network in 2019 dissecting how the Gophers RPO play puts the run-side safety in a very tough situation. For the Gopher RPO to work, of course, both the running game and the passing game must be equally effective and skilled. Both must deserve respect. A strong running game never "set up" a weak passing game for success, and vice versa. Meyer also thinks the Gophers "cheat," by sending their OL downfield a tiny bit on pure RPO calls, depriving the safeties and LB of an easy read as to when Morgan will pass. Each play is a chess game.
 






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