Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Notes from Around College Football

I wanted to point out two interesting topics that are getting some attention the past few days.

1.  I have heard some renewed interest in Oregon's offense and 'what Oregon does' in light of their resounding victory over USC.  The (very) short answer is that Oregon epitomizes a spread to run team.  Don't let the shotgun and spread formations fool you--they are a run first team, finishing 2008 second in the country in rushing yards with 585 rushing attempts (which is a lot-for comparison Georgia Tech, a triple option team, had 640 rushing attempts).  They do so primarily with four plays--the inside zone read, outside zone read, countery trey, and a draw.  The inside and outside zone read are their bread and butter.  They are in shotgun virtually every play so that they can make these reads.  And they've taken the zone read to a new level.  Rather than always reading the backside defensive end as in a typical zone read, they will read different backside defenders depending on the call.  So one play they may read the 5-technique Defensive End, the next the 3-technique Defensive Tackle.  In this way they've been able to stay ahead of the way defenses have defended the zone read.  Oregon was able to gain large chunks against USC in the Second Half by switiching to reading the Defensive Tackle.  In so doing, they are closer to a true triple option team who will one play run the 'veer play' which options the frontside DE, while the next play they will run the 'midline,' which options the frontside DT.  (For more on this see here.)  The zone read is not a true option play in that it is still dependent on the frontside blocking to work, but the principle is the same--keep the defense guessing and read guys so that you don't have to block them.

For a lot more detailed breakdown on Oregon's offense see the great posts by Trojan Football Analysis and Smart Football here and here, respectively.  Check them out.

2.  MGoBlog.com has a great two part breakdown of how Michigan's defense has gotten to the state it is in through recruiting and attrition.  It is the best study I have seen of how recruiting effects a team over the long term.  Part two in particular should be of interest to Buckeye fans.  There, MGoBlog compares Michigan's defensive recruiting to five other schools from the 2005-2009 period, including Ohio State.  My takeaway:  Ohio State has done the best, most consistent job recruiting and developing their players and has the best long term plan.

No comments:

Post a Comment