Michigan OC Josh Gattis on Win over Ohio State: 'They're Not a Tough Team'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVNovember 30, 2021

FILE - In this Saturday, April 13, 2019 file photo, Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis during the team's annual spring NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich. Gattis is perhaps the most intriguing new offensive coordinator in the country as Jim Harbaugh seems to be ceding control in favor of a more modern approach. It’s not as if the Wolverines weren’t running spread elements and run-pass options last season with quarterback Shea Patterson. But bringing in Gattis suggests a more immersive approach.(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)
AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File

When you fell your biggest rival, you're entitled to dance on their grave a bit.

That's exactly what Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis did after the Wolverines' 42-27 victory over Ohio State last Saturday.

Gattis said on the Inside Michigan Football radio show (via the Detroit News' Angelique Chengelis) the Buckeyes are "a finess team" and "not a tough team." He added that the plan was to overwhelm OSU with physicality:

angelique @chengelis

UM OC Josh Gattis (Broyles finalist) on the opening drive and game against Ohio State. Told host ⁦<a href="https://twitter.com/JonJansen77?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JonJansen77</a>⁩ “They’re a good team. They’re a finesse team, they’re not a tough team. We knew … that can out-physical them …out-tough them” Full quote below ⬇️ <a href="https://t.co/8qz6TWtysp">pic.twitter.com/8qz6TWtysp</a>

Michigan dominated at the point of attack on both sides against Ohio State. The Wolverines ran for 297 yards and averaged 7.2 carries while limiting the Buckeyes to 64 yards on the ground. TreVeyon Henderson's 4.4 yards per carry were tied for his lowest of the season.

Gattis alluded to how he and his fellow Michigan staffers followed the blueprint Oregon used to upset Ohio State in Columbus. The Ducks rolled up 505 yards on the Bucks, with CJ Verdell carrying the ball 20 times for 161 yards and two touchdowns.

The performance was bad enough that head coach Ryan Day moved play-calling duties away from defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs.

Fans have become accustomed to seeing a wealth of NFL talent come through Ohio State's defense. Chase Young, Nick and Joey Bosa, Marshon Lattimore, Malik Hooker and Jeff Okudah are among the first-round picks from the Buckeyes.

Day doesn't have that kind of elite depth this year. Edge-rusher Zach Harrison (No. 78) and defensive lineman Haskell Garrett (No. 136) are the only OSU defenders to crack Bleacher Report's most recent big board.

Coombs' demotion also underlined the need to refresh the coaching staff a bit. Allowing 621 yards and 52 points to Alabama in last year's College Football Playoff National Championship served as a bit of a warning sign for what was to come.

Ohio State was there for the taking against an opponent that could avoid costly turnovers and control the game on the ground. Oregon did that in September, and Michigan followed suit.