Maize and Blue Offensive Preview: Al Borges, Cheddar Jalapeno Cheetos and His Offense

Cheddar Jalapeno Cheetos

Lets get the obvious out of the way, I enjoy Cheetos. As a hefty man there is an eternal struggle not to eat all of the Cheetos that are in my general vicinity. Up until around this time last year I thought I had a good grasp on the lay of the Cheetos land. There were all different types of flavors and I had dabbled in some but I always came back to the standard Cheeto as my go to.

Al-Borges-MichiganThis all changed while at a bachelor party last summer when I first had the Cheddar Jalapeno Cheetos. This tasty snack went down like any other Cheeto before it. A delicious combo of jalapeno and cheddar infused the salty snack with powers I had not thought possible. I spent the entire rest of the weekend talking about the beautiful creation you might have thought I was getting married to the Cheetos. (Not sure if its legal to do that in Pennsylvania yet.)

There was only one problem, there was no going back to regular Cheetos after this. My old way of thinking was archaic and lacked the pizzaz it once did. Even worse the cheddar jalapeno version is so rare I can’t find it at normal convenience stores. It such a rare occurrence I find them that I have tried to forget them altogether. It is my long lost love and I have had to return to my normal routine but still knowing what exotic and bold flavors are out there.

Al Borges and Denard

At this point you are probably wondering what on earth Jalapeno Cheetos have to do with Michigan football outside of the fact that Al Borges probably loves them as well. (I would think Al and I could talk X & O’s and salty snacks for hours. It might go something like this.)

Well Denard and the spread offense are Borges’ Jalapeno Cheetos. Up until two years ago Borges career was steady and he ran his pro style offense each step of the way. He then took over the Denard mobile and his offensive had to change based upon the talent he was given.

The results were somewhat mixed as he struggled to adapt to the new world that was around him but found many new plays that worked. (#invertedveer) After a blowup at ND Borges went back to the base plays that worked for Denard that let him show off his talents. The makeshift offense that Borges created would all fall apart once Denard went down against Nebraska.

Once Gardner was moved back to QB against Minnesota Borges felt more comfortable and was able to run what he knows but with some of the new wrinkles built in.

Borges’s Offense Moving Forward

(Note: If you are still looking for a link between Cheetos and Michigan I would stop. I secretly use this platform to pump my pro Fat Man agenda.)

MGoBlog already hit on this but the idea is for Michigan to have “pro style” personnel but not really having a base offense. Instead Borges weapon as a play caller is to have as many different plays and formations available to him that he can throw off opposing defenses. The key here is Borges needs as many plays as possible to be successful so he can add as much variance to his play calling. (Think of the offensive success Michigan had in the South Carolina game when Michigan was able to run 82 plays versus 47 total plays versus OSU)

While he won’t run his QB like he did with Denard, don’t expect Borges to eliminate the QB altogether from the run game. Devin has mobility as well and Borges has made plenty of comments this offseason about using him in various formations, including the pistol. His bread and butter from the run game will be to run power from the I but I expect him to keep some of the zone blocking and inverted veer that he used in the previous two seasons.

The pass game will look very similar to the last five games last year with Devin at the helm. Expect play action on first and second down and for Michigan to be in the shotgun on third down and any distance longer than 3 yards. (NOTE TO THE COMPETITION: If it is 3rd or 4th and short, Michigan is running Devin on a boot. Trust me)

Meaningless Prediction- Borges offense looks competent and versatile. While they can’t jam the ball down everyone’s throat with the run game Gardner’s throwing ability makes Michigan’s offense one of the best in the B1G. People will start laying off Borges as they see what he can do with his offense in place. (Again, all bets are off if Gardner gets hurt. Everyone will be fired if that happens)

Another Meaningless Prediction- All Cheetos are doomed if Gardner gets injured


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