Michigan OC Josh Gattis: 'I did not think our preparation was up to par'
Michigan football is at a crossroads moment, with offensive coordinator Josh Gattis taking the blame on Tuesday for the team’s recent difficulties on offense.
In an appearance on local sports talk radio, Gattis fell on the proverbial sword for this past Saturday’s 27-24 loss to Michigan State. With the loss, the Wolverines took a dive in the rankings, falling to No. 23 in the AP Poll and No. 25 in the Coaches Poll.
“The challenge for our guys on offense is we’v’e got a lot of inexperienced players,” Gattis said on the ‘Stoney and Jansen’ show according to MLive. “A lot of first-time players. They have got to be able to handle success and prepare in three or four days for their next opponent in a normal game week.
“I did not think our preparation was up to par, or it was up to the standard that we needed it to be. And that falls on me.”
Gattis might be getting some unnecessary fallout given the excessive hand-wringing going on over Michigan’s loss this past weekend. Now 1-1, the lackluster showing against the Spartans drops the Wolverines to 1-1 but raised serious questions about Jim Harbaugh’s tenure as head coach.
It isn’t necessarily all doom and gloom for Michigan and Gattis’ offense. In Saturday’s loss, they still managed 452 yards of total offense, 28 first downs and 33:47 in possession. In all three categories, they bested their in-state rivals.
They also didn’t turn the ball over, another positive from the loss. It isn’t like the offense was unable to move the ball or inept.
With balance to their offense, including 300 passing yards and 152 yards on the ground, Michigan did enough offensively to win the game. Given Michigan State’s struggles in their season opener the week before when they lost to Rutgers, the issue in Ann Arbor is more about the defense rather then what the offense did or did not do.
There is an inexperience factor to the offense as well. The leading wide receivers on Saturday were young, paced by freshman Roman Wilson (five catches, 71 yards) and sophomore Giles Jackson (seven catches, 58 yards).
Quarterback Joe Milton, despite being a junior, had just 11 passes thrown coming into the season. He finished the Michigan State loss 32-of-51 with 300 yards.
“That’s my job as coordinator, to make sure that we’re getting the very best out of our young men, and we’re demanding the very best,” Gattis said. “I have to do the best job of putting them in positions to be successful.”
Michigan travels to No. 13 Indiana this Saturday.