Thursday, November 26, 2009

Ohio State vs. Michigan Breakdown-Updated

Another game, another dominating rushing performance, and another example of Tresselball in action on the offensive end.  The fact that it ended with another victory over the Wolverines and an outright Big Ten title made it all the better (and at times more maddening). 

1.  This game had a very interesting chess match on the offensive side of the football (and I don't say that often).   But the back and forth was interesting to see.

First, Michigan came out showing something defensively they had not for any significant spurts this year--a 3-3-5.  In reality, it was more like an old 5-3-3.  To take a step back, Michigan has shown quite a few 8 man fronts this year, but they were more of a 4-4 variety.  Specifically, it was essentially a 4-3 open plus, with the 3-technique strong, the strong end in a 5-technique and the strong linebacker covering the tight end, and then a 4th linebacker player in a traditional 'over' position on the weakside. (h/t:  MGoBlog).

Against Ohio State, however, Michigan came out in Rodriguez's favored 3-3-5 (which makes me think he may have taken over the defense again).

As can be seen, Michigan essentially played it as a 5-3 with the ends in '3' techniques and both hybrid players on the end of the LOS.  In so doing, they were effective shutting down Ohio State's I formation run game, particularly Dave, because, even if blocked correctly, the Fullback would kick out the outside linebacker, the pulling guard would pull around on the frontside linebacker, but the Mike or Will linebacker would be left free.  Ohio State at first tried to counter this by running Dave to the weakside, but it wasn't any more successful.*

After getting a feel for what Michigan was doing, however, Ohio State did a fantastic job of using formations to attack and force Michigan out of this set.  They did so by using the basic principle of numbers on each side of the centerline and forcing the defense to react.

  To begin at first principles, one advantage an offense has against a defense is that by formations they can dictate where a defense puts its defenders.  By that, I mean the offense has multiple choices about how to distribute its numbers on both sides of the center.  For example, a standard 'I' formation has six men to the TE side, 5 to the weakside (each person on the center line--center, QB, FB, TB--counts as half).  By contrast, a 1 back 'ace' formation has 5 1/2 to each side.

A defense must respond with the same numbers on each side of the centerline--otherwise they are structurally unsound and open to a quick pass or option.  So if the offense puts 5 1/2 to one side, the defense must do the same.

The 5-3-3's limitation is that, by playing a middle safety, a defense is severely handicapped in mirroring the offense's balance when they go to ace (single back) formations.  As Homer Smith discusses,

When single-back formations waxed, the 5-3 defenses waned. Why? Because balancing on three centerline offenders - on a center, a QB, and a single-back - and keeping the MG/MLB tandem meant having a middle safety. One defender on the centerline will balance on three centerline offenders but two will not. Two will leave the defense out of balance and vulnerable on one side. 
So Ohio State attacked in exactly this manner.  They first went to a balanced shotgun 'ace' look. 

And, just as Homer Smith said, Michigan, by leaving their safety to the field, in the clip above (as they could against the I when it was 6/5) were vulnerable on the leftside.  Ohio State was thus able to get a numbers 'advantage to their left side, and when Pryor gets into the secondary the safety is out of position to help. (They obviously didn't read Homer Smith--though in all seriousness I was uninmpressed by how structurally unsound Michigan was all game).

Ohio State then went a step further and by formation forced Michigan to abandon the 3-3-5.  To do so, Ohio State went to what I call their "shotgun trey strong look," which is a strength heavy 7/4 split (about the only way to get to 7/4 without going unbalanced).

Michigan's 3-3-5 (or 5-3), however, is predicated on balancing the front 8 on both sides of the center and then adjusting the secondary accordingly.  They could not do that against the tight trips, however, because they could not do so and get 7 men to the formation's strength.  Thus, as you can see above, Michigan had to go to a different look against this formation to be structurally sound.

Therefore, Ohio State, by use of formation, dictated to Michigan what they could do.  The rest of the game, whenever OSU lined up in a pro-set Michigan would go back to the 5-3, but could not do it against this formation.  A very nice job by the OSU offensive coaches adjusting to the wrinkle Michigan showed, knowing how to attack it, and forcing Michigan out of it.

2.  I was also very impressed with what Ohio State did with the zone read.  It had several unique, cutting edge wrinkles that I was impressed with.  The first was the formation set.  By going double tight, Ohio State took what is ostensibly a 'spread' play and put Jim Tressel's patented power principles behind it.  Second, Ohio State did not read the end man on the LOS, as the basic zone read does.  Instead, as VBCoach on the Scout "Ask the Insiders Board" explained, Ohio State read the inside '4i' technique and then had the TE fan block on the outside linebacker.

This is pretty innovative stuff.  Oregon has gotten notoriety recently for their ability to 'read' the inside 3 and 4 techniques on the zone read.  In this way they've become closer to true option teams like Georgia Tech that will one play run the 'veer' option that reads the 5 technique, and the next run the midline option that reads the 3 technique.  But Oregon considers it so cutting edge, that one anecdotal story has it that they will not release any informaton on it.

Ohio State, however, did the very same thing.  They blocked the outside linebacker on the line of scrimmage and instead read the interior lineman.  I do not know if this was gameplanned or an adjustment they made to what Michigan was showing, but either way it was a very nice design.

3.  I know some fan base segments are still kerfluffled about the Ohio State's offense's basic strategic outlook the past few weeks; namely Ohio State's heavy reliance on running the football .  I have a few thoughts on this.  The first is that people are severely undervaluing a good running game.  Yards are yards.  Rushing the football, however, is a) less risky, and b) controls the clock.  So, theoretically, if you could gain the same amount of yards running or passing, you would choose to run.  Jim Tressel basically embraces this theory.  When Tressel first came to Ohio State, he gave a coaches' clinic talk (highly recommended reading).  Tressel did a study on OSU during the 1990s.  He found that when OSU rushed for over 200 yards they were 56-2.  So any time Tressel has a team that can consistenly rush for over 200 yards he is going to embrace that and ride it.  Especially when you have a defense like OSU does, if the offense can rush for 200 yards it means they are making first downs, keeping the defense out of bad situations, and will be difficult for any team to beat.

The obvious rejoinder is "what if they stop it, then what do you do?"   Well first, the other team has to stop it--very solid defenses in Iowa and Penn State were not able to.  But this also leads to my second point, which is that you do not necessarily have to pass a lot to keep the defense off balance.  What Ohio State has instead been able to do is use Terrelle Pryor's legs as that counter and threat off the edge.  His legs, in essence, replace what a passing game would do in some situations and provide the outside complement to the inside run game.  It is what they rely on in 3d down situations  where others would turn to the pass.

The third, also related point, is that Ohio State is just not consistent enough in the passing game to rely on it.  This is by no means to say they are not good, it just means that mistakes up and down have prevented the passing game from having a high enough completion percentage to be a reliable go-to.  The number of incompletions and inability to get the ball downfield has limited the yards per pass attempt and thus the passing game's effectiveness.  For example, against Michigan Ohio State got the ball back with good field position in the first half up 14-3 and went for the kill shot.  But 3 pass plays later indicate the passing game's relative limits right now.

  • 1st-10:  Sprint Draw action right, nice protection Pryor has Posey open deep and overthrows him.
  • 2d-10:  Sprint out right.  Good protection.  Pryor throws to Carter on a hitch, hits him right in the hands and he drops it.  Would have been a 15 yard gain.
  • 3d-10:  Michigan brings a delayed blitz, gets to Pryor, he tries to scramble away but can't and has to throw it away.
Update:  As Chris Brown discusses here, the lower your completion percentage, the more likely you end up in 3d and 10, and the corresponding less likely you are to convert a first down.  In addition, the more likely you are to throw an interception, the less valuable passing becomes.  Either/or will correspondingly make you 'passing premium' higher.

The point here, is that if Tressel has three choices between 1) inside running, 2) Pryor running, or 3) passing, he is likely going to choose 1 or 2, as they have been more consistent.  Ohio State has, however, done a nice job the last two weeks coming out passing to set up the running game later.

4.  At this point, it is hard to know exactly what this offense is capable of   Every time Iowa or Michigan got close, Ohio State opened the throttle and put touchdowns on the board that regained the advantage.  And by opening the throttle I don't just mean passing more, but also doing things like breaking tendencies, getting Pryor out in space, and using constraint plays.  But then when they get a lead, even if only a one score one, Tressel is content to shorten the game and let the defense do the rest.  It would be interesting to see what happened if the offense had to play in a close game environment the entire time (though I'm happy for them to keep having the score advantage).

5.  Many have asked about a possible matchup with Oregon, and I will have a lot more to say if Oregon beats Oregon St. (though I think Ore. St. has a very good chance in that game).  But I will say this--to beat Oregon, every one should embrace the idea of Tresselball.  It is a matchup of two contrasting styles--Oregon would rather outscore you 50-48, while Ohio State obviously wants to put their defense in a position to win the game.  One key will be what kind of style prevails during that game--Ohio State does not want to get in a track meet.  Teams have had success running on Oregon, and if I'm Ohio State, I want to put together a number of time-consuming, ran laden drives that eat up clock, do not turn the ball over, and then sprinkle in Pryor on the edge and the passing game.  But look for more detail on that coming soon...

* Note:  to have blocked this play against the 5-3 successfully, Ohio State would have had to changed their blocking assignments, given up trying to get any double teams and instead had their TE stick on the outside, the playside Guard and Center each block back alone and the fulback and guard each lead through the hole.   Similar to this (though this is a counter trey) (h/t:  Homer Smith).

OSU I don't think, however, was prepared for this defense since it was the first time Michigan showed it and you could tell they were having blocking assignment issues with it.

Play-by-Play After the Jump:

1st-10:  Shotgun Ace tight (2 x 2) halfback left.  Michigan 3-4 with
safety walked up to the TB side.    Fly motion to trey left.  Fake
outside zone right, playaction roll left.  Flood left.  Decent
protection-Cordle gets beat late.  Pryor steps up into the throw,
throws a nice out to Saine.  12 yd gain.
1st-10:  I left-motion to I right, motion back to I left (Michigan
keeps flipping their front.  Michigan stack 5-3.  1 high.  Dave left.
Blown play.  Both guards pulled, good thing they didn’t give each
other concussions.  1 yd gain.
2d-9:  Shotgun fly motion to trips right.  Michigan 5-3 1 high.  Both
CBs to trips side.  Sprint out right.  Smash route right.  Michigan is
in some sort of zone, nice throw hits Posey on a curl.  11 yd gain.
1st-10:  I twins left.  4-4 under.  1 high.  Dave right.  Graham
stalemated Ballard.  Boren couldn’t pull around Graham in the
backfield so the playside LBer comes unblocked.  No gain.
2d-9:  I twins right.  3-5 eagle.  1 high.  Dave play pass left.
Smash left.  Man cover 1.  Linebackers really bit hard.  Browning gets
out onto the playside Lber.  Posey is open but Pryor doesn’t get his
feet set and overthrows him.  Incomplete.
3d-9:  Shotgun split backs twins left.  4-3 over. Dropback.  All curl.
 Mich in cover 1 robber.  Shugarts does a nice job on Graham, with
help from Boren.   Pryor maybe threw short before he needed to to
Saine.  3 yd gain.
1st-10:  I left.  Michigan 3-5.  1 high.  Quick screen to Posey.  Nice
tackle by Warren, 2 yd gain.
2d-8:  Shotgun 4 wide trips left.  Mich nickel 1 high.  All curl
route. Cordle lets too much penetration into the backfield.  Pryor
doesn’t step up into the throw, short hops it to Small, who is open
3d-8:  Shotgun ace tight trey left-fly motion right.  Michigan nickel
2 high.  Cover 2.  Fake speed option play pass right.  3 verticals.
Martin beat browning off the ball inside.  Otherwise the protection
was fine.  Pryor sacked 4 yd loss.
1st-10:  Gun Ace tight TB right.  Mich 5-3.  1 high.  Green Bay
packers sweep left (both Guards pulling).  Ballard does a nice job
maintaining his block and taking 88 to the sideline.  Boom does a nice
job following Boren up threw the hole—Boren then pancakes his guy.  4
yd gain.
2d-6:  I twins right.  Mich 5-3 1 high.  Dave right (to split side).
Michigan gets frontside penetration on Shugarts.  The Mike is going to
come free anyway because the numbers do not work.  Z. Boren kicks out
the end, J. Boren takes the Will, but Mike is still there.   Need to
block it differently to have any hope of success.  1 yd gain.
3d-5:  Gun 4-wide:  Michigan nickel 2 high.  Dropback.  Michigan 2
deep.  Coverage beater to each side.  Double slants to the left,
“snag” to the right (Flag, arrow, flat combo).  Lazy route running by
Dane and Posey-not sharp, covered by two LBers.  Good protection-nice
job by Cordle on Graham.  Pryor makes the right read on the No. 2
inside defender to the snag side. Boom would have likely got the first
if he didn’t bobble the ball.
1st-10:  I tight left.  Michigan 6-3.  Warren walked up over Stoney as
No. 1 recevier to the side.  Dave right.  Michigan has 4 guys to the
playside to our 2.  Boom does a decent job cutting inside but J. Boren
doesn’t hold his block.  Neither does Brewster.  No gain.
2d-10:  I twins left.  Mich 5-3 1 high.  MI showing no respect for TE.
 Both corners on twins side, only LB on TE side.  ISO right.  Brewster
gets beat across his face into the hole but Boom makes a great cut
right behind that for a big gain.  20 yards.
1st-10:  I twins left.  Michigan 3-5 over.  Dave pass play left.
Crash  inside on the Dave fake.  Mich looks like a cover 3 but have no
under support because linebackers all bit.  Posey wide open on the
hitch.  Pryor’s feet are really open and throws all arm, which makes
it sail a little.  12 yd gain.
1st-10:  Gun motion to ace tight trips.  Michigan 4-4 over.  Sprint
out right.  Flood right.  Good protection.  Nice job by Shugarts
turning it inside.  Hits Posey on the hitch.  Posey just kind of runs
out of bounds.  6 yards.
2d-4:  I twins left.  Mich-4-4 over.  1 hight.  ISO right.  Graham
beats Shugarts into the hole.  Boom tries to cut back left, but
Browning has his guy sealed off that way so he makes the tackle.
3d-3;  Gun ace tight right.  Mich 5-3 1 high.  Speed option right.
Boom completely lost his pitch relationship.   If he keeps it its an
easy first down.  Pryor had no one to pitch to though.  Bad job by
1st-10:  Gun ace tight left.  Mich Eagle 5-3.  Zone read right.
Unbelievable run by Saine.  Michigan slants into the play.  Saine runs
through 8 defenders.  Breaks two arm tackles at the LOS, then through
2 guys.  Nice job by Brewster getting his head playside to establish
the crease.  15 yd gain.
1st-10:  Ace gun tight right.  Mich 4-3 stack with safety coming up.
Dropback.  4 verticals.  Mich cover 3.  Shugarts got beat by Graham.
Pryor nice scramble, runs over Brown, and then steps out of bounds
short of the first down.  Not sure what he is thinking there…9 yd
2d-1:  I twins right.  Michigan 4-3 under 2 high.  ISO right.  Brandon
Graham destroys Cordle, creates a 1 yd loss.
3d-1:  I twins right.  Mich 4-3 under 2 high (not sure why they are
going 2 high here).  Dave right.  Graham beats Ballard but Browning
comes around and picks him up.  Nice kick-out block by Z. Boren.
Tough short yardage run by Saine for the first.  3 yd gain.
1st-10:  Gun Ace tight left.  Michigan 5-3.  Zone read right.   Pryor
keeps great read.  Leave Graham unblocked he comes down onto Saine.
Stoney fans out onto the OLB.  Pryor makes a great run getting right
up the field and runs by everyone.  20 yd gain.
1st-10:  Gun ace trips right strong right.  Mich 4-4 over.  1 high.
Fake speed option counter left.  Great play by Cordle.  Comes down and
blocks the 5 technique, then releases and fans out on Warren.  Creates
a huge hole for Saine.  TD.
1st-10:  I twins right.  Mich 4-3 over. 2 high.  Sprint draw playfake
right.  3 verticals.  Nice protection tons of time.  Posey has his man
deep.  Pryor just really overthrew him.
2d-10:  Gun motion trips right.  Sprint out right.  Good protection.
Throws to Carter on the hitch.  Warren tries to jump it and misses.
Hits Carter right in the hands and he drops it.  If he catches that he
has a 15 yd gain.
3d-10:  Ace trey right.  Mich nickel.  Delayed blitz gets to Pryor.
Pryor tries to get to corner but can’t-if it’s the wideside of the
field he can scramble.  Instead just throws it away.  This drive had
some major missed opportunities.
Major missed opportunities.

1st-Gun Ace Tight right.  Mich 3-3-5.  1 high (slightly shaded wide
side).  Sweep left.  Great patience by Boom waiting for Browning to
pull around and then following him up behind Brewster.  Boren drove S.
Brown 10 yards down field and pancaked him.  12 yd run.
1st-10:  Gun Ace tight left.  Mich 3-3-5 shaded wide side
(structurally unsound against this look—offense has six to the
boundary, defense only has 5).  Zone read.  Great read by Pryor.  OSU
totally takes advantage of Michigan being structurally unsound.  If
Posey makes his block it’s a TD.  13 yd gain.
1st-10:  I twins right.  Mich 3-3-5.  Safety in middle (again
unsound-6 vs 5 ½ to field).  Sprint draw pass right.  Z. Boren and
Boom make the incorrect read in pass pro and block inside when the
line has turned right (or Shugarts might have screwed up by following
Graham slanting inside when he was BOB).  Pryor looks like he could
have scrambled outside,  instead gets the grounding call.  Minus 25.
2d-25:  I twins right.  Mich 4-3 over 2 high.  ISO left.  Hole was
initially there, but Mike scraped off.
3d-25:  Ace gun tight left, fly motion to trey .  Zone read right.
Nice run by Pryor bouncing out, but too much to gain.  Nice job by him
staying in bounds.

1st-10:  1st-10:  Unbalanced twins right.  Mich.  3-3-5 open.  3 high.
 Dave right.  Nice pin block by Browning playside on Graham.  Nice job
by the Boren boys feeling the whole outside—J. Boren then runs right
by the playside hybrid, but Saine cuts up and runs through an arm
tackle for 6.
2d-4:  Gun trips left, TB left (7/4).   Mich 4-3 over open.  1 high.
Fake sweep right, bubble screen left.  Good play fake that controlled
the nickel back, Dane dropped the ball-probably a 20 yd play left on
the field.  Incomplete.
3d-4:  Gun 10 personnel.  4-3 over open.  2 high.  Dropback—Double
slant combo left; levelsright.  Lazy routes again-Posey doesn’t cut
hard, rounds off the route.  Line slides right; decent protection but
Saine cuts Graham, so not a ton of time.  Pryor locks onto Posey,
tries to force it in there, INT.

1st-10:  Gun trey strong left (11 personnel), TB left.  Mich 4-3 under
2 high.  Zone read right.   Pryor should have probably kept.  Boren
drives the 1 technique so far down, creates a big hole.  5 yd gain.
2d-4:  Gun trey strong right, TB right.  Mich-4-3 over, 1 high.
Supposed to be zone read left.  Dropped snap, but Pryor is able to
outrun everyone around the right edge and make a play out of nothing.
13 yard gain.
1st-10:  I unbalanced twins left (again 7/4 personnel split).  Mich
3-4 over open.  1 high.  Dave left.  Both Brewster and Shugarts get
beat blocking back, creating backside penetration.  Then Z. Boren does
not kick out on the proper outside LBer.  1 yd gain.
2d-6:  Gun Trey left, strong TB left (7/4).  Mich 4-3 over with LBers
playing to trips side.  1 high in middle.  Zone read right.  Great
push off the ball.  Unbelievable blocks by Brewster, Boren, and the
right side. Brewster completely turns his backside to the hole while
blocking the LBer, while Browning and Shugarts seal their guys to the
sideline, creating the gap, and Boren drives his guy 5 yards off the
ball and pancakes him, preventing any backside support.   Great
blocking.  15 yd gain.
1st-10:   Gun trey left strong.  Mich 4-3 over nickel 2 deep.  Zone
read right.  Great push again by Boren, Brewster and Browning.  Best
run I’ve seen Boom Herron.  Patient, found the crease, picked up his
feet and hit the hole hard.  12 yd gain.
1st-10:  Gun ace tight TB right.  Mich 3-3-5 1 high to the field.
LBers cheating to the boundary, MG.  Zone read left.  Mich slants
left, Pryor should have probably kept, Graham comes through. 0 yd
2d-11:  Gun ace trey left strong.  Mich.  4-4 over to field.  Zone
read right.  Proper read by Pryor, keeps, does a great job of
bouncing—comes up to Brown so he commits, and then bounces.  12 yd
1st-10:  Gun Trey tight (2 x 2) strong right.  Mich 3-3-5 ‘eagle’.  1
high middle of field.  Mich again structurally unsound.  Only has 3
guys on OSU’s boundary side to OSU’s 4—just asking for this ball to be
bounced outside.  Zone read left.  Very nice seal block by
Stoneburner, great job by Cordle locking up his guy.  Good job by Boom
bouncing outside, big 25 yd gain.
1st-Goal:  at the 3:  Tight I wing left.  Mich Goalline 6-2 tight.
Iso left.  The hole is there, but Stoney takes a bad angle to cut off
Graham and he comes in from the backside to make the play -2 yards.
2d-Goal:  Double tight wing.  Mich-5-3 under.  Fake sweep left, boot
right.  Flood combo.  No one touches Graham and he comes straight up
and makes the play.  Stoneburner was open on the flag, but no chance
to get him the ball.  5 yd loss
3d-Goal.  Gun trey left (11) weak.  Mich 3-3-5.  0 high.  Mich brings
8.  Inside screen to Boom.  Great job by Pryor.  Nice composure and
nice touch to put that ball over the top.  TD.

1st-10:  Gun fly motion to trips right, strong right.  Mich.  4-3 over
tight to field.  1 high.  Would have gone for a lot of yards, but
Cordle gets beat by Brandon Graham, so Boren has to chip on him,
losing our lead blocker on the backer.  6 yd gain.
2d-4:  Gun trey right strong.  Mich 4-3 over to boundary.  1 high.
Zone read left.  Good read by Pryor.  Picture perfect zone double team
and chip by Brewster and Boren.  Double team until Brewster got his
helmet playside, then Boren goes to the LBer and drives him  5 yds
back, creating a crease for Boom.  1st down.    Great job by those
1st-10:  Gun trey right strong.  Mich-4-3 over to boundary.  1 high.
Zone read left.  Browning leaves the backside 3 technique too early,
but Boom does a really nice job of being patient and making two nice
cuts through small creases for 5.
2d-4:  I tight right.  Mich 3-3-5:  CB over TE-9 in the box.  1 high.
ISO left.  Boren and Browning can’t chip off the double team.  Decent
hole outside, but Boom doesn’t see it and runs up Browning’s back.  1
yd gain.
3d-2:  Gun trey right.  Mich:  4-3 over plus to boundary.  2 high.
Zone read left.  Pryor keeps.  Michigan does a scrape exchange, but
Ballard does a really nice job of coming off his block to block the
scraping LBer and Pryor outruns the DE.  1st down.  5 yd gain
1st-10:  Zone read left-1st down but illegal shift.
1st-15:  Gun trips left strong left.  Mich in 4-3 over to boundary
(structurally unsound, could kill them with speed option right here).
G-block right by Brewster (pulls around).  Herron unnecessarily
strings it out, 2 yd gain.
2d-13:  I twins left.  Mich 3-5-3.  1 high.  Dave play pass left,
smash left.    Posey is open but Pryor takes too long to get him the
ball.  Then Posey steps out of bounds instead of getting 2 more yards.
 3 yd gain.
3d-8:  Gun ace left weak.  Mich 4-3 over 2 high.  Dropback.  Z out/up
combo.  Saine missed his assignment.  Line slid left but he went left,
leaving 88 unblocked.  He sits though because he’s concerned about
Pryor scrambling around him (he still could have).  Posey is open on
the fly route, Pryor just overthrows him.
Fourth Possession-21-10.  OSU 11
1st-10:  Tight I left.  Mich 4-3 under, boundary corner walked up over
TE, 2 high.  Dave right.   Mich slants away.  Big hole outside.  Boren
misses the ILB pulling, but Saine misses a huge hole outside, might
still be running.  1 yd gain.
2d-9:  Gun tight (2 x 2) trey left strong.  Mich 4-3 under.  2 high.
Zone read right.  Pryor should have kept, huge hole outside.  Saine
tries to cut back out there, but can’t quite get there.
3d-6”  Gun trey right stron.  Mich 4-3 under. 2 high.  Zone read left.
 Big hole up the middle.  Really nice job by Shugarts of recovering
and getting on Graham.  If Pryor goes right up the field he gets the
first.  As is, he is a half yard short.

Fifth Possession:   OSU 21-10.  OSU 19
1st-10:  Gun trips left.  Mich 4-3 over.  Sweep right.  Nice down
block by Shugarts and Ballard.  Boom does a good job of following
behind Browning, picks up 5.
2d-5:  Gun tight trey left.  Mich 4-3 under, with LBers way
overshifted to field.  3 high.  Zone read left.  Nice read by Pryor,
end crashed down, but Michigan is doing a scrap exchange almost with
their safety playing run support.  Pryor runs him over though.  5 yd
3d-1:  QB sneak
1st-10:  Unbalanced I left.  Mich 3-5-3.  1 high.  Dave left.
Browning never gets pulled around.  Hole outside but Boom sees it too
late, the playside backer is able to shoot the gap.  1 yd
2d-9:  Gun trips right.  Sweep left.  Ballard is blown up into the
backfield by Graham, preventing any opportunity for a play.  Loss of
3d-13:  Unbalanced tight bunch right w/ a WR outside.  Mich 4-3 under.
 2 high.  Fake zone right, boot run left.  Not the time to fool them
with the run fake.  Graham comes straight up the field, beats
Ballard’s half hearted block attempt, and tackles Pryor for a loss.
Fifth Possession:  Mich 45.  21-10.
1st-10:  Tight I left.  Mich 4-3 under 1 high.  Dave right.  Mich
safeties were playing cover 4 and flying up.  Nice bounce outside by
Saine.  Hold on Boren.
1d-22:  Fumbled snap by Pryor.
2d-22:  Tight I left.  Mich 4-3 under.  3 high.  Dave fake rollout run
left.  Great block by Sanzenbacher, decleats Brown on the crackback.
Pryor is able to get outside for 16, but outruns Browning and can’t
get enough for the 1st.  16 yd gain.
3d-5:  Unbalanced twins right.  Mich 4-3 under cover 4.  Fake Dave
right rollout run right.  There was a hole behind Boren pulling for 4
if Pryor hits it right away but tries to string it out.  Then runs
across the field, ends up with 2.
4th-3:  Unbalanced twins right:  Mich 4-3 under 1 high.  Dave play
pass right.  This was an actual called pass.  I think he has Posey on
the flag route.  Instead tries to run it back across the grain and
almost makes it.  Turnover on downs.


  1. Awesome website. best buckeye football blog out there. B.F.A, The-Ozone, Eleven Warriors have all ends of the spectrum covered

  2. Can someone explain to me how the digram (single back vs. the 5-3) the defense is unbalanced. By your defenition I seem to count the defense having 5 1/2 just as the offense. And wouldn't going with a 2 deep shell hurt the run game defense?

  3. Also, what exactly is the centerline, the running back doesn't seem to be directly behind the center nor does the saftey seem directly in line with center