Sherrone Moore doesn’t care if Michigan football’s offense is sexy.
He doesn’t care if it makes the SportsCenter top 10 games, and he certainly doesn’t care who gets the credit.
Moore – now the sole architect of UM football’s attack after last year’s quarterbacks coach and His co-offensive coordinator, Matt Weiss, was fired in January amid a computer crime investigation – has a unique vision of what UM’s offense should look like in the fall.
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“Whatever we have to do to win,” Moore declared Tuesday afternoon at Schembechler Hall. “We will not value the opinion of people who do not understand what we are doing. We’ll do whatever it takes to win this game, whether it’s a throw or a pass to do it.
“That’s the vision.”
Last season, Michigan ran the ball on 60.79% of their offensive snaps, the 12th-highest run rate in the country and the 5th-highest among Power Five teams. While it wasn’t always pretty, it was effective.
UM ranked fifth nationally in rushing offense (238.9 yards per game), which was the main reason it finished 6th nationally in scoring (40.4 points per game) and finished the season 11th in of offensive efficiency ended.
“It’s certainly a recipe for victory,” Weiss said last year of UM’s offense in November after quarterback JJ McCarthy had his fifth game in six weeks by threw for under 175 yards. “We definitely don’t apologize for that.”
While the leadership is different, the attitude is the same.
And if the results are anything like last season — the first 12-0 start in 25 years, Ohio State’s first win in more than two decades, the most wins in a single season in program history, and a second Big Ten Championship and trip to the College Football Playoffs in a row – this ratio could look similar again.
“There’s probably going to be a game where we run the ball more and people are going to be mad at us,” Moore said. “But if it helps us win, we’ll be okay with that.”
‘Living a dream’
Moore, 37, is busier than ever.
In addition to serving as the sole offensive coordinator, he remains in charge of the offensive line, which was dubbed The Winner of the Joe Moore Award for Best Unit in the Nation in each of the last two seasons under his tutelage.
The main difference this season is that his focus now extends to all of offense, but good luck getting him to say something concrete how or if his role has changed on match day.
“As for last year’s play-calling duties, I won’t go into the specifics, so good try,” Moore joked. “I was part of the play-calling last year … but is it (now) a little bit more work? A little, but I’ve been preparing for this my whole life.
“I don’t come in here at all and work. It’s fun. This is just too much fun for me. I’m living a dream right now, so I’m just going to grind as hard as I can and live out this dream that we’re living in.”
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It seems like UM’s offensive coordinator isn’t the only one who feels this way about Ann Arbor. Seven starters from last year’s team, given the opportunity to pursue a career in the NFL, chose to return to Michigan for another round.
Blake Corum wanted to clear up any concerns about his knee. Cornelius Johnson wants to show he can be more than just a possession receiver. Offensive guards Trevor Keegan and Zak Zinter also want to improve their draft stocks.
Yes, it’s also true that potential money from NIL deals can be the deciding factor for a college player caught between returning and leaving. But as Moore said, there’s a lot more to it than that.
“It’s bigger than a culture, it’s a brotherhood,” Moore said. “It’s something that’s hard to describe unless you’re around every day.”
Lots of guns
Moore has an embarrassment of wealth on his side of the ball.
Start with the offensive line, which brings back four players who had All-Big Ten honors last season (Zinter, Keegan, Karsen Barnhart and Ryan Hayes), two others who started multiple games (Trente Jones and Gio El-Hadi ) and three starters make up five other schools (Ladarius Henderson, Arizona State; Drake Nugent, Stanford; Myles Hinton, Stanford), two of whom were captains.
“It’s a competition, everyone knows that any day if you have a day off or a week off, your place is up for grabs,” he said. “We have the depth with people who know you can’t do business in a casual way.
“You have to attack, because we are striving for great things.”
They will block for Corum, who returns as an early Heisman Trophy favorite. He rushed 247 times for 1,463 yards (5.9 yards per carry) and 18 touchdowns before missing the last three games of the season with a knee injury.
His understudy, Donovan Edwards, is also one of the most explosive running backs in America. He rushed 140 times for 991 yards (7.1 yards per rush) and seven touchdowns, and caught 18 more passes for 200 yards and two points.
As energetic as these two are, once the ball is in their hands, they’ll probably be on the field together, right?
“I can’t tell you that,” Moore smiled. “We have to see.”
Then there’s McCarthy, a junior quarterback who’s now had a full season as a starter.
After being held for under 230 yards in nine of his first ten starts, McCarthy has averaged over 255 yards per game in his last three games. That included a 343-yard game against TCU in the Fiesta Bowl that showed what it looks like when McCarthy is let loose.
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“We knew JJ’s abilities,” Moore said. “That was a situation where we had to do it. So again we did whatever we had to do to win at that point and we thought that was the best thing.”
UM scored 45 points and had more than 530 yards of offense, showing what a high-flying attack can look like. In an eight-game streak in the second half, it had three touchdowns and rushed for 171 yards.
Despite the most enticing offensive performance of the season, it was the worst day of the year.
“At the end of the day we lost the game,” Moore said. “It doesn’t matter how good it looked.”
Michigan likes his talent. They know they’ve brought back an experienced group and if they wanted to, they could probably blow out the ball more often and successfully. But then again, there may not be a need.
UM and Moore are poised to win ugly again – don’t wait for an apology.
This article originally appeared on the Detroit Free Press: Don’t expect Michigan football’s offense to change much in 2023
Source : sports.yahoo.com