UNIVERSITY PARK (WTAJ) — In 2019 Michigan football hired Josh Gattis away from Alabama, naming him the program’s offensive coordinator, and after a couple mediocre years, the Wolverines are finding their stride in his third season.
Gattis, who joined James Franklin in 2012 at Vanderbilt before coming over to Penn State left the Nittany Lions in 2018, spent one season with Alabama before being hired at Michigan.
This year, his offense is one of the best in the big ten, averaging more than 36-points-per-game. The Wolverines rushing attack averages a Big Ten best 234-yards-per-game. Running back Hassan Haskins is Pro Football Focus’s top graded running back.
Penn State head coach James Franklin describes Michigan’s offense as a blend of Gattis’s system, and a scheme Jim Harbaugh relied on at Stanford.
“They’re massive up front with the o-line and the tight ends. They got a converted o-lineman playing tight end as well to serve in that role,” said Franklin. “They have a big back that can hammer it in there and then they have an undersized quick back that also does a great job of breaking tackles and plays with more power than you would think.”
Like Penn State saw against Illinois, Franklin expects Michigan to use a lot of heavy sets, something Penn State has worked on since the Illini exposed Penn State’s weakness. But since being gashed by 356 yards in that loss, Penn State has slowed Ohio State’s run, and halted Maryland, holding the Terrapins to 1.8 yards-per-carry.