Best Gopher Offenses Over the Years

Gold Rush

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Over the last 45 years I have seen some pretty good offenses, and a few not so good for the Gophers. I think the thing that has held us back for the most part has been on defense but consistency and a lack of identity on offense has plagued us too. Our offense has gone from pounding the rock to the run and shoot under Salem, option with Holtz and Gutekunst, Wacker's more open approach, Mason's running with smaller offensive linemen and very good RB's, Brewster's disastrously changing the offense each year, Kill and Claeys running the QB 20 times a game to PJ Fleck, who is trying to get huge athletic linemen with an increasing amount of playmakers.

My favorite offense was Glen Mason's. It gave us a chance to win every week and literally confounded even the best rush defenses in the country. He never had a great QB, but he always had decent ones (Cockerham, Cupito etc.) that knew how to run his offense. And LOTS of good running backs, too! He actually gave us an identity on offense (we won't talk about the defense! LOL) and I felt it was a huge mistake for Brewster to abandon something that worked so well, especially in favor of his disastrous offense du jour thing he had going on.

Lou Holtz's offense was my second favorite - I do not know if the option would work so well today but when run well it could be an extremely effective and potent offense. QB Rickey Foggie is still my all time favorite Gopher QB. (And probably many others, too!)

Believe it or not, Joe Salem's offense was my third favorite. His Offensive coordinator was Mike Shanahan and he ran a run and shoot offense. They were under-sized and outmanned, but it was actually a very innovative offense and fun to watch. Before things fell apart, QB Mike Hohensee had some great moments, including a tremendous upset over Ohio St. He was 37-64 for 444 yards and 5 TD's - one of the best performances ever!

I think PJ Fleck's offense has the potential to be as good or better than any of these offenses. His offensive line will be as good as we have had in years and follows the highly successful Wisconsin model with huge, road graders out front and some excellent playmakers at RB and WR. They should be able to pass, too and we really haven't had that type of dual threat in a very long time if ever. I can see why so many of the Gopher fans "in the know" are very excited to see this offense hit the field. I know I am!!!
 
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rockford

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Well, not to get all objective or anything, but the passing attack last year was certainly the most effective we've seen since Adam Weber in 2010. And last year's total yardage per game was tops for this decade. The 3.3 offensive TDs per game was second highest to our 3.4 in 2014, when the ground game dominated the offense.

2018 -- 208.8 yds passing, 1.5 passing TDS, 171.2 rushing, 1.8 rushing TDs
2017 -- 126.1 yds passing, 0.8 passing TDs, 182.4 rushing, 1.7 rushing TDs
2016 -- 173.6 yds passing, 0.7 passing TDs, 183.6 rushing, 2.6 rushing TDs
2015 -- 214.8 yds passing, 1.2 passing TDs, 144.1 rushing, 1.3 rushing TDs
2014 -- 141.8 yds passing, 0.9 passing TDs, 215.5 rushing, 2.5 rushing TDs
2013 -- 148.1 yds passing, 0.9 passing TDs, 195.2 rushing, 1.8 rushing TDs
2012 -- 169.5 yds passing, 1.5 passing TDs, 151.9 rushing, 1.1 rushing TDs
2011 -- 150.3 yds passing, 0.8 passing TDs, 160.0 rushing, 1.2 rushing TDs
2010 -- 226.1 yds passing, 1.8 passing TDs, 135.3 rushing, 1.2 rushing TDs

JTG
 

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Well, not to get all objective or anything, but the passing attack last year was certainly the most effective we've seen since Adam Weber in 2010. And last year's total yardage per game was tops for this decade. The 3.3 offensive TDs per game was second highest to our 3.4 in 2014, when the ground game dominated the offense.

2018 -- 208.8 yds passing, 1.5 passing TDS, 171.2 rushing, 1.8 rushing TDs
2017 -- 126.1 yds passing, 0.8 passing TDs, 182.4 rushing, 1.7 rushing TDs
2016 -- 173.6 yds passing, 0.7 passing TDs, 183.6 rushing, 2.6 rushing TDs
2015 -- 214.8 yds passing, 1.2 passing TDs, 144.1 rushing, 1.3 rushing TDs
2014 -- 141.8 yds passing, 0.9 passing TDs, 215.5 rushing, 2.5 rushing TDs
2013 -- 148.1 yds passing, 0.9 passing TDs, 195.2 rushing, 1.8 rushing TDs
2012 -- 169.5 yds passing, 1.5 passing TDs, 151.9 rushing, 1.1 rushing TDs
2011 -- 150.3 yds passing, 0.8 passing TDs, 160.0 rushing, 1.2 rushing TDs
2010 -- 226.1 yds passing, 1.8 passing TDs, 135.3 rushing, 1.2 rushing TDs

JTG
Wouldn't 2015 have been more effective at 214.8 yards?
 

MNVCGUY

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Well, not to get all objective or anything, but the passing attack last year was certainly the most effective we've seen since Adam Weber in 2010. And last year's total yardage per game was tops for this decade. The 3.3 offensive TDs per game was second highest to our 3.4 in 2014, when the ground game dominated the offense.

2018 -- 208.8 yds passing, 1.5 passing TDS, 171.2 rushing, 1.8 rushing TDs
2017 -- 126.1 yds passing, 0.8 passing TDs, 182.4 rushing, 1.7 rushing TDs
2016 -- 173.6 yds passing, 0.7 passing TDs, 183.6 rushing, 2.6 rushing TDs
2015 -- 214.8 yds passing, 1.2 passing TDs, 144.1 rushing, 1.3 rushing TDs
2014 -- 141.8 yds passing, 0.9 passing TDs, 215.5 rushing, 2.5 rushing TDs
2013 -- 148.1 yds passing, 0.9 passing TDs, 195.2 rushing, 1.8 rushing TDs
2012 -- 169.5 yds passing, 1.5 passing TDs, 151.9 rushing, 1.1 rushing TDs
2011 -- 150.3 yds passing, 0.8 passing TDs, 160.0 rushing, 1.2 rushing TDs
2010 -- 226.1 yds passing, 1.8 passing TDs, 135.3 rushing, 1.2 rushing TDs

JTG
And the most important part of this is that last year's numbers were produced with an incredibly young group of players with almost all of them returning along with hopefully some key pieces that were injured last year. There are posters here that bristle at the young stuff but there is no disputing the youth we were running out there on offense last year.

With even just modest growth and development of the players the offense is just scratching the surface of what it could become. All the usual caveats are there, it could all blow up in our faces, but it has been a while since there was this much legitimate reason to get excited about the offense and what they might be able to do.

Mason put some great offenses on the field but could never figure out how to get it done on defense. Kill put some solid defenses on the field but struggled to find the same success on offense. Hopefully Fleck will prove to be the one that can finally figure out how to consistently pair a strong offense with a strong defense. If he does, we will have a lot of fun around here in the near future.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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Well, not to get all objective or anything, but the passing attack last year was certainly the most effective we've seen since Adam Weber in 2010. And last year's total yardage per game was tops for this decade. The 3.3 offensive TDs per game was second highest to our 3.4 in 2014, when the ground game dominated the offense.

2018 -- 208.8 yds passing, 1.5 passing TDS, 171.2 rushing, 1.8 rushing TDs
2017 -- 126.1 yds passing, 0.8 passing TDs, 182.4 rushing, 1.7 rushing TDs
2016 -- 173.6 yds passing, 0.7 passing TDs, 183.6 rushing, 2.6 rushing TDs
2015 -- 214.8 yds passing, 1.2 passing TDs, 144.1 rushing, 1.3 rushing TDs
2014 -- 141.8 yds passing, 0.9 passing TDs, 215.5 rushing, 2.5 rushing TDs
2013 -- 148.1 yds passing, 0.9 passing TDs, 195.2 rushing, 1.8 rushing TDs
2012 -- 169.5 yds passing, 1.5 passing TDs, 151.9 rushing, 1.1 rushing TDs
2011 -- 150.3 yds passing, 0.8 passing TDs, 160.0 rushing, 1.2 rushing TDs
2010 -- 226.1 yds passing, 1.8 passing TDs, 135.3 rushing, 1.2 rushing TDs

JTG
Objective? Numbers?



I want to hear more PJ gossip and church lady cattiness!

/s (thanks actually)
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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And the most important part of this is that last year's numbers were produced with an incredibly young group of players with almost all of them returning along with hopefully some key pieces that were injured last year. There are posters here that bristle at the young stuff but there is no disputing the youth we were running out there on offense last year.

With even just modest growth and development of the players the offense is just scratching the surface of what it could become. All the usual caveats are there, it could all blow up in our faces, but it has been a while since there was this much legitimate reason to get excited about the offense and what they might be able to do.

Mason put some great offenses on the field but could never figure out how to get it done on defense. Kill put some solid defenses on the field but struggled to find the same success on offense. Hopefully Fleck will prove to be the one that can finally figure out how to consistently pair a strong offense with a strong defense. If he does, we will have a lot of fun around here in the near future.
Agreed, I think that's the big kicker, success with young guys, a program getting going with a new coach.... will seem like it could be more than a bump in the road.

I hope it is more, I'm excited.... abeit with the caveat that we're still in "could be" land.
 

Bob_Loblaw

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Total Yards is a rough way to judge an offense.

IMO, the only way to really judge an offense is to throw a bunch of data against the wall and see which combo of information we like the most. It's essentially subjectively picking between combinations of objective stats. The other layer to all of this is that the defense really can impact offensive stats. For example, I thought our offense was fantastic at Madison last year, but the numbers probably don't show that.
 

metrolax

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Actually, we might not have seen the best offense Mason could have had. I think his 2003 offense was very strong, but when he
recruited Weber he was grooming him to run his exact offense. During his redshirt year all we heard was how excited everyone was
about him starting the following season. He seemed a perfect fit. Then, of course, Mason was let go and the rest is something different.
 

rockford

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Well, not to get all objective or anything, but the passing attack last year was certainly the most effective we've seen since Adam Weber in 2010. And last year's total yardage per game was tops for this decade. The 3.3 offensive TDs per game was second highest to our 3.4 in 2014, when the ground game dominated the offense.

2018 -- 208.8 yds passing, 1.5 passing TDS, 171.2 rushing, 1.8 rushing TDs
2017 -- 126.1 yds passing, 0.8 passing TDs, 182.4 rushing, 1.7 rushing TDs
2016 -- 173.6 yds passing, 0.7 passing TDs, 183.6 rushing, 2.6 rushing TDs
2015 -- 214.8 yds passing, 1.2 passing TDs, 144.1 rushing, 1.3 rushing TDs
2014 -- 141.8 yds passing, 0.9 passing TDs, 215.5 rushing, 2.5 rushing TDs
2013 -- 148.1 yds passing, 0.9 passing TDs, 195.2 rushing, 1.8 rushing TDs
2012 -- 169.5 yds passing, 1.5 passing TDs, 151.9 rushing, 1.1 rushing TDs
2011 -- 150.3 yds passing, 0.8 passing TDs, 160.0 rushing, 1.2 rushing TDs
2010 -- 226.1 yds passing, 1.8 passing TDs, 135.3 rushing, 1.2 rushing TDs

JTG
Just for kicks, going back another decade:

2009 -- 207.0 yds passing, 1.2 passing TDs, 99.5 rushing, 1.0 rushing TDs
2008 -- 219.1 yds passing, 1.2 passing TDs, 103.8 rushing, 1.5 rushing TDs
2007 -- 245.8 yds passing, 2.1 passing TDs, 161.8 rushing, 1.3 rushing TDs
2006 -- 221.1 yds passing, 1.7 passing TDs, 154.4 rushing, 1.9 rushing TDs
2005 -- 221.7 yds passing, 1.7 passing TDs, 273.1 rushing, 2.8 rushing TDs
2004 -- 181.5 yds passing, 1.4 passing TDs, 256.8 rushing, 2.4 rushing TDs
2003 -- 205.5 yds passing, 1.4 passing TDs, 289.2 rushing, 3.5 rushing TDs
2002 -- 183.4 yds passing, 1.6 passing TDs, 209.8 rushing, 1.7 rushing TDs
2001 -- 204.5 yds passing, 1.7 passing TDs, 217.2 rushing, 1.8 rushing TDs
2000 -- 234.9 yds passing, 1.8 passing TDs, 187.5 rushing, 1.5 rushing TDs

This perhaps changes the perspective of last year's offensive output. Yes, it was the most potent squad we'd seen in 10 years. But in terms of passing and rushing yardage, last year's effort ranks just 8th out of the last 19 years.

1. 494.8 yds -- 2005
2. 494.7 yds -- 2003
3. 438.3 yds -- 2004
4. 421.7 yds -- 2001
5. 422.3 yds -- 2000
6. 407.6 yds -- 2007
7. 393.2 yds -- 2002
8. 380 yds -- 2018
9. 375.5 yds -- 2006

I don't think it's unreasonable to expect the offensive output to take another leap forward this year. The question is, how far:
• To the giddy heights of Tim Brewster's 1-11 debut in Minnesota, led by freshman QB Adam Weber? (408 yards per game)
• To the pinnacle of Glen Mason's success, 10-3 and #20 in the final poll (495 yards per game), led by Asad Abdul-Khaliq (2401 yards passing, 17 TDs, 5 INTs) and a couple guys named Barber (1196 yards rushing, 17 TDs) and Maroney (1121 rushing, 10 TDs).

I can't imagine that we won't be a lot closer to the latter.

JTG
 

BilldGopher

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Maroney, Barber, and Tapeh...with Eslinger as center and Khaliq at QB...was the best executed running game I've ever seen.

And, I got to watch Herschel's freshman year in person...no execution there...O-line just create a hole and he was gone...

Both were lots of fun to watch.
 

Gold Rush

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And the most important part of this is that last year's numbers were produced with an incredibly young group of players with almost all of them returning along with hopefully some key pieces that were injured last year. There are posters here that bristle at the young stuff but there is no disputing the youth we were running out there on offense last year.

With even just modest growth and development of the players the offense is just scratching the surface of what it could become. All the usual caveats are there, it could all blow up in our faces, but it has been a while since there was this much legitimate reason to get excited about the offense and what they might be able to do.

Mason put some great offenses on the field but could never figure out how to get it done on defense. Kill put some solid defenses on the field but struggled to find the same success on offense. Hopefully Fleck will prove to be the one that can finally figure out how to consistently pair a strong offense with a strong defense. If he does, we will have a lot of fun around here in the near future.
Amen! As we have painfully found out, a good offense and poor defense will get you into a bowl game, but not necessarily the one you want. A Rose Bowl offense and Music City Bowl defense gets you into --- the Music City Bowl. A good, fun offense will help get fans into the seats but the defense wins championships. Still, Gopher fans have endured many years with little to no passing game and no superstar QB. The QB's we have right now may not be superstars but they are indeed better than what we have had, especially at throwing. I have been especially surprised at how long it's been since we had a solid WR corps, especially after Decker left. We were never that bad there before that I can remember. And it's been hashed and rehashed at how long its been since we have had an offensive linemen drafted into the NFL.

So you can see why it's a little fun for Gopher fans to see this offense coming together in a very big way the last couple years. This hopefully will be another step forward and maybe even a big one!
 

Schnauzer

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Great discussion, with stats. Gopherhole can do it when it wants to! I enjoyed those Mason offenses and really felt they were as good as any team in the country back in those days (especially 2003, 2005). Like most, I blamed the defense for having to play in Music City Bowls instead of Rose Bowls.

A while back someone had the astute observation that although the Mason defenses where the obvious problem holding back his teams, there actually was a bit of blame that could be shared with his offenses. Drives often stalled in the second half of games that had begun with complete running game domination. Things got predictable. As they stalled the shaky D was left out to dry with increasing frequency in the second half and the resulting come from ahead crushing defeats often resulted when playing good opponents.
 

Gophers_4life

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Well, not to get all objective or anything, but the passing attack last year was certainly the most effective we've seen since Adam Weber in 2010. And last year's total yardage per game was tops for this decade. The 3.3 offensive TDs per game was second highest to our 3.4 in 2014, when the ground game dominated the offense.

2018 -- 208.8 yds passing, 1.5 passing TDS, 171.2 rushing, 1.8 rushing TDs
2017 -- 126.1 yds passing, 0.8 passing TDs, 182.4 rushing, 1.7 rushing TDs
2016 -- 173.6 yds passing, 0.7 passing TDs, 183.6 rushing, 2.6 rushing TDs
2015 -- 214.8 yds passing, 1.2 passing TDs, 144.1 rushing, 1.3 rushing TDs
2014 -- 141.8 yds passing, 0.9 passing TDs, 215.5 rushing, 2.5 rushing TDs
2013 -- 148.1 yds passing, 0.9 passing TDs, 195.2 rushing, 1.8 rushing TDs
2012 -- 169.5 yds passing, 1.5 passing TDs, 151.9 rushing, 1.1 rushing TDs
2011 -- 150.3 yds passing, 0.8 passing TDs, 160.0 rushing, 1.2 rushing TDs
2010 -- 226.1 yds passing, 1.8 passing TDs, 135.3 rushing, 1.2 rushing TDs
Great stats, thank you!

BUT .... the truest apples to apples comparison would be in terms of attempts. Granted, if an offense averaged more attempts per game, it might mean that was a better offense. OR, it could mean that our defense that year was putrid and so the other teams scored really fast ...

So the most mega awesome comparison would be our average total offensive stats per attempt, and then also the average total offensive attempts of our opponents (just number of attempts, not the stats), for each year. :cool:
 
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WinLoseOrTy

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Total yards gained and points scored aren't great indicators of the offensive efficiency. Yards Per Play is better. Here are the last 40 years.

As expected, the Mason years are the standard. The similarities between the 2 Lou Holtz seasons and Fleck's first 2 years are striking.

Year - YPP - Coach
1978 - 4.5 - Stoll
1979 - 5.4 - Salem
1980 - 4.4 - Salem
1981 - 5.1 - Salem
1982 - 5.1 - Salem
1983 - 3.5 - Salem
1984 - 5.0 - Holtz
1985 - 5.7 - Holtz
1986 - 5.1 - Gutekunst
1987 - 5.5 - Gutekunst
1988 - 4.6 - Gutekunst
1989 - 4.9 - Gutekunst
1990 - 4.3 - Gutekunst
1991 - 4.6 - Gutekunst
1992 - 4.7 - Wacker
1993 - 5.4 - Wacker
1994 - 5.6 - Wacker
1995 - 5.6 - Wacker
1996 - 5.2 - Wacker
1997 - 4.5 - Mason
1998 - 4.5 - Mason
1999 - 5.9 - Mason
2000 - 5.8 - Mason
2001 - 6.0 - Mason
2002 - 5.6 - Mason
2003 - 6.6 - Mason
2004 - 6.3 - Mason
2005 - 6.4 - Mason
2006 - 5.8 - Mason
2007 - 5.5 - Brewster
2008 - 4.9 - Brewster
2009 - 4.9 - Brewster
2010 - 5.3 - Brewster
2011 - 5.0 - Kill
2012 - 4.9 - Kill
2013 - 5.2 - Kill
2014 - 5.5 - Kill
2015 - 5.3 - Kill
2016 - 5.2 - Claeys
2017 - 4.9 - Fleck
2018 - 5.7 - Fleck
 

fmlizard

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Great discussion, with stats. Gopherhole can do it when it wants to! I enjoyed those Mason offenses and really felt they were as good as any team in the country back in those days (especially 2003, 2005). Like most, I blamed the defense for having to play in Music City Bowls instead of Rose Bowls.

A while back someone had the astute observation that although the Mason defenses where the obvious problem holding back his teams, there actually was a bit of blame that could be shared with his offenses. Drives often stalled in the second half of games that had begun with complete running game domination. Things got predictable. As they stalled the shaky D was left out to dry with increasing frequency in the second half and the resulting come from ahead crushing defeats often resulted when playing good opponents.
Weren't there 4 base running plays in the Mason offense? Outside left, outside right, inside left, inside right?
 

diehard

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This will be the best offense in memory. Faalele was the missing piece early in the year. And our O will keep improving. It is balanced. I liked the Mason O but was totally frustrated that against the top teams our smallish OL was worn down and couldn't sustain drives late in the games to hang on for the win.
 
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MNVCGUY

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Total Yards is a rough way to judge an offense.

IMO, the only way to really judge an offense is to throw a bunch of data against the wall and see which combo of information we like the most. It's essentially subjectively picking between combinations of objective stats. The other layer to all of this is that the defense really can impact offensive stats. For example, I thought our offense was fantastic at Madison last year, but the numbers probably don't show that.
You are right that the true measure of an offense can be tough to gauge just using stats because the flow of the game will often dictate what the offense does or does not do. For example, if your team is running at will the passing stats are going to take a dive. Or if you have a big lead your total yardage won't be good when you are trying to milk the clock as much as possible.

The eye test really does tell you a lot. For example I think pretty much everyone agrees that the offense during the Mason year's was something special for the most part. That rushing attack was unbelievable, they had their issues closing games for a variety of reasons but in general terms those were some really good offensive teams.

On the flip side of that the offenses under Kill really struggled. Game after game we watched a defense go out and give it everything they had only to see the offense fail to sustain drives or score points at key times. And if we couldn't run the ball we were dead in the water most of the time because the passing game was so bad.

Fast forward to the end of last year when we finally had some competent defensive play over those final 4 games. In three of them the offense played really well and the final score reflected that in terms of very comfortable victories against Wisconsin, Purdue, and Georgia Tech. Turnovers killed us against Northwestern.

Health will be a key factor, but you have to go back to the Mason years to find an offense with as many potential difference maker skill players on it as the one we will field next season. Smith, Brooks, Ibrahim, Johnson, Bateman, and CAB makes for a really nice collection of weapons to surround a couple solid young QBs with. Pair that with what has the look of being a strong offensive line and the stars are aligning for something special.
 

MNVCGUY

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Defense > Offense
If I had to select a great offense with a bad defense (Mason) or a great defense with a bad offense (Kill), I would probably lean more towards the latter. But as we have seen, neither of those formulas is good enough to get the team over the top.

Special teams hasn't been mentioned but it also factors into this equation.

The best teams find a way to get all 3 phases playing at a high level at the same time. For the most part we never seem to get past 2 units playing well at the same time. If the defense and special teams are good the offense is bad. If the offense and defense play well the kicking game bites us.....

Against Purdue, Wisconsin, and Georgia Tech we saw what can happen when all 3 phases are getting the job done, now just have to figure out how to carry that through a whole season to reach the levels we all want to get to.
 

WinLoseOrTy

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Yards Per Play in 2018

Games 1-5: 4.7
Games 6-13: 6.3

4.7 yards per play would have been lowest in 20 seasons.

6.3 yards per play would have been 3rd highest in last 40 seasons, behind only 2003 (6.6) and 2005 (6.4).


What changed? Probably a number of things....Morgan, Faalele, young team gaining experience, etc.
 

MNVCGUY

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Yards Per Play in 2018

Games 1-5: 4.7
Games 6-13: 6.3

4.7 yards per play would have been lowest in 20 seasons.

6.3 yards per play would have been 3rd highest in last 40 seasons, behind only 2003 (6.6) and 2005 (6.4).


What changed? Probably a number of things....Morgan, Faalele, young team gaining experience, etc.
Think you hit on most of the key things. Defense playing better over those final 4 games had to help a ton to.
 

Mulligan

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This will be the best offense in memory. Faalele was the missing piece early in the year. And our O will keep improving. It is balanced. I liked the Mason O but was totally frustrated that against the top teams our smallish OL was worn down and couldn't sustain drives late in the games to hang on for the win.
Peak of frustration was Maroney needing only a yard or two to get a first down and ice the game against the Badgers in the dome. They stopped him after we had run up and down the field all game. That led to the botched punt. Totally pissed at the Michigan collapse. Absolute shock at the Wisconsin game.
 

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Think you hit on most of the key things. Defense playing better over those final 4 games had to help a ton to.
Also how many games did Zach play on 1 leg? I'm sure it was literally painful for him, but it was also painful to watch him back there all hobbled up. Hard to believe they didn't make the switch sooner.
 

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slightly off-topic, but one thing they did under Mason that always drove me nuts was that they seemed to run a lot of plays to the short side of the field. they'd do a toss to Barber or Maroney, but the defense would use the sideline to get the angle and prevent a big play. I would be watching the games just screaming "run to the wide side of the bleepin' field."

On the bigger picture, with the passing game under Mason, Brewster and Kill/Claeys, it seemed like they would hit a couple deep passes every game, but they struggled to consistently hit the 9-yard pass on 3rd-and-8. As I've said before, deep passes are fun, but give me a QB who can hit a 10-yard quick out or slant on 3rd-and-8.
 

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Peak of frustration was Maroney needing only a yard or two to get a first down and ice the game against the Badgers in the dome. They stopped him after we had run up and down the field all game. That led to the botched punt. Totally pissed at the Michigan collapse. Absolute shock at the Wisconsin game.
Nothing tops Michigan. Can’t punch the ball in with a 240lbs QB sneak, to win the game, with the entire stadium screaming to do it for Jerry, the week he retired (at the time).
 

PMWinSTP

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Nothing tops Michigan. Can’t punch the ball in with a 240lbs QB sneak, to win the game, with the entire stadium screaming to do it for Jerry, the week he retired (at the time).
Both games mentioned top that game...by a lot.
 

Gophers_4life

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Think you hit on most of the key things. Defense playing better over those final 4 games had to help a ton to.

Guaranteed it helped. When players see that they’re not only not being blown out, but - shock - they can win the game, they get a fire lit under their butts.
 
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