Embed from Getty Images One year ago Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan Wolverines football team’s offense was stale, and did not have the firepower to win in the schools biggest games. Harbaugh went outside the box and brought in Josh Gattis to run his offense. Gattis arrived in Ann Arbor and said his offense is based on “speed in space.”
“Speed in space,” is based on spreading the ball around and getting it to the best play makers. It sounded like a good theory. Michigan had some players needed to become a bit more explosive offensively.
Yet, Gattis and the Wolverines did not have enough play makers to move the meter much. Jim Harbaugh and Josh Gattis watched as the Wolverines struggled to grasp the offense early in the 2019 season.
Then it began to click, Michigan went on a mini tear, amassing points and yardage in the second half of the season. throw out a combined point total of 43 against Ohio State and Alabama, it goes without saying that is bad, Michigan did gain a combined 791 yards against the two national powerhouses.
The Michigan Wolverines offense clearly showed signs of growth. Enough growth to suggest the Wolverines look set to be a dangerous offensive team next season.
Cutting down on turnovers and finding a running game opened things up for the Gattis lead offense. Hammering Notre Dame for 45 points and hanging in against both Ohio State and Alabama, albeit for only the first half are positive steps.
The real question for Harbaugh, Gattis and the Michigan offense is what’s next? The team must replace quarterback Shea Patterson, who both struggled and played well sometimes within the same game. Michigan has an outstanding offensive line, but need to replace four starters as well as wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones who declared for the NFL draft.
While that is a lot to replace, Michigan, thanks in large part to solid recruiting have the depth for a smooth transition. It is not difficult to see improvement for the 2020 Big Ten season.
Jim Harbaugh knew this would be a bumpy step-back season as his team went in a new direction offensively. If the team can find it’s way through the non-conference games with new starters, Michigan’s offense looks prepared to take the next step.