New Michigan spread offense will need 'time to grow,' Urban Meyer predicts

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, now retired from coaching and working as a Fox Sports analyst, pondered Michigan’s new offense and wondered if coach Jim Harbaugh will give it “time to grow.”

Jim Harbaugh

Meyer, appearing Thursday on “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” was asked if this could be a breakthrough year for Harbaugh.

“This will be the best offensive line they’ve had,” said Meyer, who will appear on Fox Sports’ new college football pregame show, "Big Noon Kickoff." “They have an excellent coach in (Ed) Warinner (a former OSU offensive line coach) and the guys back are big. I noticed the size of the guys. I remember them last year and most of them are back.

“That’s been their weakness on offense. However, they’re changing. Here’s what they have. They have three legitimate high draft picks at receiver who have not been given those opportunities. They brought in a new coordinator to do that.”

Those receivers are Tarik Black, Nico Collins and Donovan Peoples-Jones.

Meyer, whose Buckeyes walloped Michigan, 62-39, last season, said it takes time to establish a spread offense.

“It remains on how they’re going to transition from a pro style to a spread,” he said. “Will it be a true spread? And that often takes time to grow.

“That takes time to grow, and will Coach Harbaugh allow them the time to grow.”

Meyer pointed Michigan loses some stars on defense — Devin Bush, Rashan Gary, Chase Winovich and David Long.

“It’s ironic that this could be their best offense, yet they lose some really, really good players on defense,” Meyer said. “But they’re always going to be good on defense.”