I think it’s a very solid hire. Good coaches get fired all the time. You have to look at the context of every situation. He did very well as the OC at Vanderbilt and had their offense operating at the highest level in school history. At Penn State, Franklin did not give him the autonomy to run his own offense. He was running Franklin’s offense, while the program was still reeling from sanctions, and he had to work with Christian Hackenberg who is dumb as fuck (think Eason versus Colorado). I think Donovan’s last season at Penn State, they had another shit QB situation in which they burned Trace McSorley’s redshirt halfway through the season to replace another Freshman quarterback who was terrible. Franklin started to feel his seat getting warm after those first two seasons and needed a scapegoat to keep his job and Donovan had to be that guy even though it wasn’t deserved based on the circumstances he was working with.
People want to point to the offense improving under Moorehead as evidence of Donovan being the problem, but that’s not fair at all. First of all, Franklin gave up the reigns and Moorehead had the autonomy to run his own offense. Donovan didn’t. Second of all, McSorley and Barkley were ballers and got better as they got more experience and development because that’s what ballers do and that likely would have been the case under Donovan as well considering what he did at Vanderbilt. People pining for Moorehead to have been the choice are dumb as fuck. He rode Barkley and McSorley and leveraged the success he had with them to get the Mississippi State job. He was hired by Miss. State to run HIS offense and it was a total disaster without the dynamic duo he had at Penn State. Miss. State’s offense was one of the worst in the nation both years he was there and showed zero improvement from year 1 to year 2. Mind you, Moorehead didn’t inherit a dumpster fire. Dan Mullen left that program in a really good place and Moorehead quickly had them trending downward again. I did not want Moorehead and he wasn’t even a candidate for Jimmy so people should stop crying like bitches over it. Let Oregon have him. I don’t care.
It’s obvious Moore was the #1 target. The fact he had to stop and think about leaving the Dallas Cowboys OC job for UW should tell you this is a highly coveted OC job. Rhett Lashlee was further down the list, realized it wasn’t likely he’d get the job, so he did what was best for him and jumped on the Miami job before that job was given to someone else. I think Helfrich and Donovan were next on the list, both interviewed, and Jimmy liked the vision Donovan had more than Helfrich which is fine with me because Jimmy knows his shit and he knows what he wants. Helfrich is more spread. Donovan is more pro-style and Jimmy wants more pro-style. That means less pussy ass bubble screen bullshit and constant passes to underneath drag routes and more of a vertical passing game which is what we need because we have the talent to straight up beat people down the field with both our receivers and TEs. No more, trying to fool people or being conservative. We’re gonna take it to teams and put the pressure on them to try to stop our superior athletes.
For the first time in a while, this offense is going to have an unmistakable IDENTITY and it’s going to be physical and aggressive and I love it and I’m really excited to see what it looks like with our players. Jimmy and I think the same way. I’ve aleady heard him say twice he loves “big, bruising running backs that can wear down defenses in the 4th quarter”. That had me swooning. Now it’s obvious we will still be TEU which I love as well. Donovan has way more talent to work with as an OC than he has ever had before. There may be some growing pains his first season here with another new QB and new system with a lot of young receivers and TE’s getting their first significant playing time, but I think year 2 and beyond, this guy will get the job done. Fucking Bow Down and Go Dawgs!