One of the more popular hot takes of the offseason was that Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh would have a hard time surrendering playcalling duties with a new and young mind at offensive coordinator in Josh Gattis, which was debunked often all offseason long.
Still, people were in wait and see mode and what they saw on Saturday in the 40-21 win over Middle Tennessee was a brand new look and philosophy in a largely pass-happy offense in the first half of the game, which is probably our most accurate look as to how this operation will go this season.
Harbaugh, who has not been completely cut off from the process, says that he still had a great knowledge of what was going on and what his team was going to run at any given time despite not having full say on what was being called.
“It was still the same focus on knowing what play was being run and considering the situations,” Harbaugh said. “I was into it, so I didn’t feel that much different, a little different.”
As far as how Gattis’ debut went in his mind, he was impressed with what he saw and called the playcalling ‘practically flawless’ and decisive.
“I thought it was really good,” Harbaugh said. “Practically, practically flawless. Decisive in the playcalling. Thought it was really good. Clear, clean. Had a clear, clean, concise game. I was impressed.”
This might catch fans and those who watched the game off-guard, as there were a handful of times when the offense would stall when Michigan would try different looks like the two-quarterback package with both Shea Patterson and Dylan McCaffrey on the field. This pretty much backs up the line of thought that this was a glorified preseason game and that, results be damned, they had a plan of what they wanted to do and see.
There are certainly some things Michigan needs to either dial back or scrap entirely, but the things that worked went well and Saturday was a way to experiment. It only becomes a concern when it becomes a trend, so we will have to wait and see how they take what they learned last week into a game against a much tougher opponent in Army.