Friday, September 17, 2010

I Moved!

From now on I'm posting at  I have even more great stuff over there, such as offensive and defensive breakdowns of Ohio State, in-depth play analysis, and analyzing an opposing team's schemes.  I've teamed up with Tyler T., who also knows his x's and o's and does great game previews and other x's and o's analysis.  Please check us out!   

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Ohio State Offensive Playbook Part III: The Zone Series

Zone blocking schemes and their corresponding play-action passes have become perhaps the primary staple of the Ohio State offense.  OSU utilizes the zone scheme in both 'pro' and 'spread' style formations.  The benefit for the offense, of course, is that zone plays are run largely the same for the players from both formations, while giving the defense two entirely different looks and taking advantage of the benefits each formation brings to running the zone scheme.  For brevity's sake, I am going to split part III into two parts (call them part 3a and 3b if you will), so that I can focus on the particular aspects of the zone read.  For starters, I am going to focus on the zone play from pro-style formations.

The Zone Scheme

Zone running actually encompass two different plays-the inside and outside zone.  Ohio State primarily runs the inside zone, but will employ both.
Inside Zone
Below is a diagram of the basic inside zone play, as well as a clip of Ohio State running inside zone.  (H/T:  Smart Football):

" width="640" height="385">
More, after the Jump:

To break this down further, Smart Football provides an excellent explanation of the zone scheme that I will not try to duplicate, but merely cite in full.
On zone plays, the linemen keep the same blocking schemes, regardless of how many tight-ends or wide receivers they use . . . On all zone runs, the linemen must ask, "Am I ‘covered’ (is there a guy directly in front of me, aside from a linebacker set back a few years)? Or am I ‘uncovered’ (there is no one directly in front of me)?"
If "covered," there is very little "zoning" at all: The lineman’s job is to block the guy in front of them. Fans, commentators, and even coaches often overcomplicate things. The "zone" aspect comes in with "uncovered" linemen. If "uncovered," the lineman must step "playside" — i.e. the side the run is going to — and help double-team the defensive linemen along with his "covered" cohort. Once the two of them control that down defensive lineman, one of the offensive linemen slides off to hit a linebacker. It’s not that complicated. Indeed, let’s say the five offensive linemen are covered by five defensive linemen. In that case, each guy (save for maybe the backside offensive tackle) will just block the guy in front of them — there is no "zoning" at all.
For the inside zone, the uncovered linemen are going to combo block more vertically.
On the inside zone the runner aims for the outside hip of the offensive guard. Now, his read can vary by team. Some teams have him read that three technique defensive tackle, while others have him read the middle or "Mike" linebacker. In both cases the idea is for him to find the "vertical" crease — either straight playside off the guard’s hip or backside on a cutback.
For those interested, here is a more in-depth discussion of offensive line rules in the zone game.  Zone rushing plays both simply assignments for the offensive linemen, and provide the opportunity for tailbacks with good vision to find the hole, taking pressure off the offensive line.
Lead Zone
Specific to Ohio State, it is important to note that the zone play can be run as a 'lead zone.'  This simply means that out of the I formation, the fullback will lead block for the tailback rather than block backside.  The offensive line's assignments stay the same.  What that means in practical terms is rather than set up a particular linebacker for an 'ISO' block, the O-Line is going to block like the fullback is not going to be there, and then the fullback simply picks up whatever defensive player shows. The fullback is going to aim for the same place as the tailback--the outside hip of the playside guard.  Generally he will block a playside linebacker.  Ohio State employs the lead zone as much, if not more, than the 'pure' inside zone--it is one of the most frequent OSU run plays.  Below are clips of Ohio State running lead zone.
" width="480" height="385">
" width="640" height="385">
Outside Zone
As noted, OSU employs the outside zone far less than an exclusively pro-style zone team.  Nonetheless, it is worth saying a quick word.  Here, again, is Smart Football:
It gets a little trickier regarding the difference between inside and outside zones, though this involves technique, not assignment. (And this is where the rabbit hole begins, as there are a zillion coaching points to doing this well, but that is better discussed in a coaching DVD rather than this overview.)
On outside zone plays, the offensive linemen take a bit more of a lateral first step and try to reach the defender across from them. He wants to get his body between the defender and the sideline. It’s important to note, however, that the very act of trying to reach the defender often gets him flying to the sideline, at which time the offensive lineman can then switch to driving the defender to the sideline. The runningback aims for a point outside the tight-end, though he can cut it upfield wherever a seam appears.
Here is an accompanying diagram of the scheme:
As one can see, the outside zone is attacking the outside hip of the tackle box.  The outside zone is an outside to cut-up play, inside zone is a play side to cutback play.
Naked Bootleg
From under center, the perfect accompanying play-action pass to the zone play is the naked bootleg.  As I previously noted, Ohio State emphasized this play during the jersey scrimmage, and I expect it to be a major part of the offense this season, as it utilizes the combination of OSU's inside run game, and the outside pass/run threat presented by Terrelle Pryor.
The top-left diagram demonstrates what Ohio State employed during the jersey scrimmage.  Ohio State would fake the inside zone from some variation of the I-formation, where the fullback would carry out his backside block and then release into the flat.  Ohio State employed a weak-side flood route combination off the inside zone bootleg.

The combination of the inside zone run play and naked bootleg attacking the backside flat will be a primary play-combination for OSU this season.

This series can also be seen at, where I will be posting my game breakdown and other thoughts this season.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Movin' Day!

I have the pleasure to announce this fall that I am moving my blog to 'Along the Olentangy' at Sports Blog Nation.  There I will be teeming with fellow insider 'DontHateOState' to provide even more in-depth x's and o's and analytical coverage.  Not only will I continue to provide game reviews, but we will also provide in-depth game previews, x's and o's analysis of the Buckeye opponents, and much more.  The new blog will provide the opportunity to provide everyone more coverage of the type provided here, but also a nice, clean format to make things even better.  Thank you for everyone that has followed by posts over here, and I hope you continue to follow us at   

The Ohio State 3-4

Check out my guest post re the Ohio State 'half eagle/half under' 3-4 over at Eleven Warriors.   Thanks to Jason and the Eleven Warriors' gang for giving me the opportunity to post--they have been great to work with on this and on my article in the 2010 Buckeye Battle Cry

Sunday, August 22, 2010

OSU Jersey Scrimmage: Talkin' X's and O's...

I had the pleasure of watching the Ohio State jersey scrimmage yesterday with Bill Greene of  Bill will have all kinds of good information regarding the offensive and defensive personnel and looks, but I wanted to extrapolate on five offensive schemes that stood out yesterday.  

1.  The Continued Expansion of the Rollout Play-Action Game

As I've previously touched on, OSU clearly wants to continue with the success they have had with the outside play action passing game, based off their patented inside run game.  The beauty, of course, is that it both constrains the defense and puts Terrelle Pryor on the edge where he is the biggest threat. 
Ohio State is looking to build on this with the bootleg.  Yesterday's scrimmage featured numerious naked bootlegs off the inside zone fake from under center.   
The top-left hand diagram is essentially what you would see.  The fullback comes back to block backside and then releases into the flat.  The nice feature of this play is that it looks precisely like the inside zone action.  The pattern off of this was generally a weak flood:

Though this bootleg has long been an offensive staple for many teams, it has been relatively underutilized by OSU and  will be another successful way to both constrain defenses and take advantage of Pryor's abilities. 

2.  The Outside Toss

Another new edition to the play book looks to be an outside toss.  OSU ran this play from one-back '11'
formations to either a tight wing or trips' side.  One time they ran this into an unbalanced trips formation.  OSU blocked this as an outside zone play.  

The goal was to establish a seam through the wingback and TE getting outside leverage and hit it upfield quick.  Again another example of OSU trying to do more to get outside the tackle box. 

3.  Sprint Draw Series

Ohio State continued to expand on their use of the sprint draw run and play-action pass.  The OSU QBs and Oline did a very good job selling pass.  For instance, if they were running the sprint draw play to the left the QB would drop back and at the last moment reverse around and hand-off, rather than fronting out left after receiving the snap.  In one instance Pryor pumped faked a quick pass and then handed off, as has become so prevalent in the NFL.  The play was best on display on a 20 yard pass from Pryor to Stoneburner.  OSU ran the sprint draw pass with 3-verticals and Pryor hit Stoneburner on a perfectly timed cut where Stoneburner split the two deep safeties.  It again demonstrated the effectiveness of this play action pass at getting big plays out of the passing game.

4.  Shallow Crossing Routes

OSU also continues to expand on its horizontal dropback passing game by featuring a large number of shallow crossing routes.  Specifically, OSU repeatedly ran what is known as a 'drive' route in West Coast nomenclature.  Here, courtesy of 'Smart Football' is a diagram of the key two man route:       

  Essentially, the outside receiver runs a shallow cross while the inside receiver (or tight end) on the same side runs a shallow-in.  The QB can have several progressions, but my assumption based on what I saw yesterday is that the QB is reading shallow cross to square-in.  As Pryor progresses it is clear that OSU is more comfortable attacking the middle of the field.

5.  Unbalanced

The coaching staff also continues to use unbalanced looks to challenge a defense's soundess and keys.  In particular, as previously mentioned, OSU likes using the unbalanced twins I-look.  From this, one of OSU's favorite plays continues to be the fake sprint-draw to the lead side, then hit the FB on a quick weakside flat route.    

The play's simplicity belies it's effectiveness.  A defensive secondary is generally going to roll to the unbalanced twins side, leaving the backside corner back responsible for the weakside.  But the backside corner must deal with the most immediate threat, namely a releasing tight end.  This leaves the full back flooding into the flat with only the linebacker to cover that zone.  But that linebacker is held by the play fake, and generally a linebacker is subconsciously going to think run when he sees unbalanced.  The play is very effective for picking up yards and takes advantage of Zach Boren's talents as a receiver.  

In sum, OSU continues to expand on where they were at the end of last season, featuring the inside run game and play action and roll-outs off of those fakes, and a quick, horizontal drop back pass game.  The coaching staff is clearly continuing to expand the offenses possibilities with a veteran unit. 

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Ohio State Offensive Playbook Part II: The Sprint Draw Series

The second play grouping I want to cover is the sprint draw (also known as lead draw) and sprint draw play pass.  This play has long been a staple of pro-style offenses, but has been relatively under-utilized by Tressel's offenses, given the amount of I formation OSU has run.  However, the sprint draw and its accompanying play-action pass were more prevalent this spring and I expect it will likewise become a bigger part of the OSU arsenal this fall.  The reason is two-fold:  a) an offensive line well built to run-block this play; and b) as discussed below, the options the sprint draw play pass gives you in the passing game, particularly delivering the ball down the deep middle.

Sprint Draw

The Sprint Draw is traditionally a man or area blocking scheme, though it can be run with a zone scheme.  Below is a basic diagram of the play.  (Courtesy of Smart Football).    

And here from 'Husker Playbook':

Teams vary in how much they have their offensive line set for pass block, depending on how devoted they are to showing pass..  Here are the general line rules for the play from 'Shakin' the Southland':    

FST- Lead/base blocks End, could have help inside from the Guard (a "smash" call). If he slants (pinches inside to the center), then the tackle down blocks him. If he stays outside, the tackle may turn him out.
FSG-If covered, slides and base blocks the DT. If uncovered, he lead blocks the DE with the FST. If the Nose is shaded to his A-gap (1-tech), he will combo with the Center.
Center-If covered, takes the Nose Guard or Shade DT base. If uncovered, smash/combo blocks with the BSG on his man.
BSG-If covered, base. If uncovered, combo block with the Center on the Shade or Nose.
BST-Stays put, cuts off the backside pursuit.
 In so doing, the tackles are going to pass set, and allow the defensive ends to come upfield, letting the defenders' aggressiveness take them out of the play.  The key point is that on the playside defensive tackle, the two linemen are going to double and combo block through to the backside linebacker.  Against a 4-3 under, that will be the Guard-Center on the playside NG, against a 4-3 over, it will be the Guard-Tackle against the '3' technique.

As to the backs,

  • Although this is not always the case, the play is best when the fullback is assigned to ISO on the first inside LBer from the playside Guard over.  He is blocking this play just like a traditional ISO, taking the LBer head-on
  • The TB is going to take two shuffle steps, taking the ball as deep as possible.  He is then going to read the playside double-team through to the FB.  The TB's goal is to make the ISO'd LBer wrong no matter what by reading the FB's block and cutting off his backside.
  • The QB is going to open up (as opposed to Dave or ISO where he reverse pivots) showing pass.  He is then going to deliver the ball deep to the TB and set up to play-pass.
  The benefits of the play are multi-fold:

  • The sprint draw takes advantage of a strong, athletic offensive line that can control the line of scrimmage (See Cowboys, Dallas).
  • The play allows a tailback to get the ball deep to use his vision and cut based off the line's blocks.
  • From the I-formation, the play can be run to equal benefit to the strong or weak side.
  • Sprint Draw, as discussed below, is a perfect complement to the sprint-draw pass, which allows the QB to get a deep drop while providing the offensive line the benefit of the play fake, so that they do not have to hold their blocks on a 7-step drop. 
As noted, Ohio State ran this play more this spring than they did all last fall, previewing a play that will likely become a bigger part of the repertoire this year.

Sprint Draw Pass

Part of the reason for the sprint draw's increasing prevalence is the passing play it sets up.  The sprint draw pass was increasingly utilized by the Buckeyes last year and became more prevalent in spring.  This play-pass has also long been a pro-formation staple, perhaps most famously utilized in the college game by Steve Spurrier's 'fun 'n' gun' offense.    

The beauty of the play is that it looks identical to the sprint draw run and allows the QB to get a deep drop.  Yet it simultaneously holds the defensive front with the run fake, making the offensive line job's easier than with a 7-step drop back pass.  The offensive line blocks identically to the sprint draw play.  The backs also run sprint draw, with the QB again opening up, prominently extending the ball out for the ball fake, then pulling the ball away from the tailback and setting up to pass. 

Here, courtesy of JWinslow of's 'Ask the Insider's' is video from OSU's fall practice.  At the 1:48 mark one get's a good line-level view of OSU's line and backs running the sprint draw action (though it is a bit different since they are running this from an 'unbalanced set').  Note how the backside pass-sets while the frontside comes out aggressively run-blocking.  Pryor opens up and delivers the play-fake before throwing into the flat.

Spurrier utilized this play to run a WR read route where the playside receiver would run a curl vs. cover-3 and a post-corner route vs. cover-2.  Ohio State, however, has embraced this play for different reasons.  First and foremost, OSU is utilizing the sprint draw pass to run the 'three verticals' route.  Here is Smart Football with the play's basic description and design:

In this play, here diagrammed from a base Pro-Set, the outside receivers will run post-corner routes, and the inside receiver, Y, will run a "middle-read" route, or "adjustable-8". The running backs will control the undercoverage with a shoot and a swing route. The outside receivers and the middle receiver have simple keys to help them adjust their routes based on the coverage and the leverage the defenders are using against them.

 The play is particularly effective against cover 2, because it is impossible for the two deep safeties to account for the three deep receivers, giving the offense a 3 on 2 advantage and making this play a coverage beater

This key actor in this play is the middle receiver.  Here again from Smart Football:

The middle-read receiver will take the fastest vertical release he can. He does NOT want to get slowed by the second level players. He will get a pre-snap and a post-snap look at the middle of the field. If the middle of the field is open (MOFO - cover 2, 0) he will go for it. If it is closed (MOFC - 1, 3, 4) he will run a square-in route.

He will take the fastest release and push to a depth of 10-12. If he reads MOFO he will stick his outside foot and head for the nearest upright. He wants to catch the ball at 18-22 yards, and is expecting to get hit after he catches it.

If he reads MOFC he will plant hard at 10-12 and will stick his outside foot and make a 90 degree cut. If he reads zone he will try to make eye contact with the QB and find the window between the linebackers to catch the football. If he reads man he will burst and sprint away from his defender.

With this in mind, one can see why the Buckeyes are now utilizing this play--it takes advantage of  Jake Stoneburner's receiving talents.  Similar to what the Indianapolis Colts like to do, Ohio State can hold the linebackers and safeties with the sprint draw fake and then hit Stoneburner on the skinny post.  OSU ran this play repeatedly during the Spring Game with Pryor throwing to Stoneburner.  In particular, this play caught my attention then:
Building on this, the most promising thing I saw in the Spring Game was a Pryor to Stoneburner connection on the 3-verticals route.  The defense was playing a cover-2 man under.  As described in the above article, Stoneburner read the cover 2 and broke to the post.  Pryor read this perfectly, stepped up into the pocket, and delivered a strike before Stoneburner broke on his cut.  It was very well executed and bodes well for OSU this year.
 The Sprint Draw 3-verticals pass play also gives OSU the ability to give the defense an unbalanced look and run the play virtually unchanged, as can be seen above in the fall practice clip.  A defense seeing an unbalanced look with naturally think run play, and the run fake will only further underscore that belief.  For the offense, the WR responsibilities are simply altered, with the inside receiver to the unbalanced twins side becoming the middle WR.  Below you can see this play against PSU and how PSU's safeties were held in place by the run fake.


Tressel and company have done a nice job recently mixing unbalanced looks with more 'open' spread and pro-style concepts, confusing defenses who are thinking run first.  This trend will likely continue this fall. 


Monday, August 9, 2010

2010 Ohio State Offense: Dave Update

Here is a great additional resource for the Dave play:  a copy of the 2002 OSU playbook.  Though outdated in some respects, the Dave diagram and rules hold as true today.  The playbook gives the rules for each position and diagrams the play against nearly every possible defensive combination.  Well-worth the read.

One will note, however, that this playbook does not contain the Dave rollout keep or play-pass, demonstrating how these were a nice adaptation by the coaching staff last fall.   

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The 2010 Ohio State Playbook Part I: The 'Dave Series'

Based on my observations from last year and this spring what follows below is a discussion of the main plays that will likely constitute the 2010 Ohio State offense.  This list is not comprehensive but is instead what I would consider some of the Ohio State offense's "base plays." This post is a follow-up to my preview article in Buckeye Battle Cry.  There, I discuss the schematic framework the 2010 Buckeyes will likely bring to the table.  Here, I look at some of the underlying plays that Ohio State will run.  I will begin with the run plays and corresponding pass plays, and then preview some of Ohio State's primary pass patterns.  Part I will begin by looking at the 'Dave Series.'


The Dave Series

Power (Dave) Play 

Any discussion of the Ohio State run game under Tressel must start with the ubiquitous 'Dave' play (ofter referred to as the power-play in general nomenclature).  Tressel is not alone in favoring this play--it is generally considered the most popular run play in modern football.  Tressel discussed the play in detail at a coaching clinic, but the basics (courtesy of Chris Brown) are as follows:

  • The lineman to the side the run is going (playside) essentially “down” block, meaning they take the man to the inside of them. For the guards and center, that includes anyone “heads up” or covering them, but for the playside tackle, he does not want to block the defensive end or other “end man on the line of scrimmage.” These lineman use their leverage to get good angles to crush the defensive lineman, and the fact that they don’t have to block a couple of defenders on the playside frees them to get good double teams and block the backside linebackers. To use Vince Lombardi’s phrase, the idea is to get so much force going that direction that they completely seal off the backside.
  • They can  do this because they get some help to the playside. First, the fullback (or, more often nowadays, some kind of H-back or other player) is responsible for blocking the otherwise unblocked end man on the line of scrimmage (“EMLOS”). He uses a “kick out” technique, simply meaning he blocks him from the inside to out, in order to create Lombardi’s famous “seal” going the other way.
  • The final piece of the puzzle is the backside guard (sometimes nowadays a tackle). He pulls and “leads,” meaning he retreats, looks first for the fullback’s block to cut off of, and then heads into the crease looking to block the first defender that shows up — typically the playside linebacker. He can block him whatever direction is best; it’s the runningback’s job to find the open lane.
  • The runner takes a lateral or slight delay step, takes the handoff from the quarterback, and follow’s the pulling guard’s block. As stated above, he wants to cut off that man’s block and get vertical quickly. It is a power play so he has to be willing to hit the hole fast; it’s not as much of a “read the defense” run as are zone runs, though it is a good complement to it.
 Here is a basic draw-up of the play

 OSU will run Dave from some variation of the I formation or from their "tight bunch" set where they have 3 TE/FBs bunch tight to the formation's strength (see below):

OSU can run this play either to the strong or weakside--though practically its more difficult to run weakside because they angles are so tight.  The play also lends itself to better angles against a 4-3 over rather than a 4-3 under, because of the difficult back block the center has against the backside 3 tackle  (see the top left diagram above).

The downside of this play (which I have previously discussed) is that all the action is front-side so that OSU can find itself in a situation where back-side penetration breaks down the play.  But OSU has taken steps to make Dave a more dangerous play, as discussed below.

Dave Rollout Designed Run

As mentioned in my Buckeye Battle Cry article,  Ohio State in 2009 developed a nice package to take advantage of the initial Dave action.   Interestingly, Ohio State did not develop a series that attacked the backside pressure, but instead choose to further attack the front-side of the play action and put the force players in a bind.  The first play they used to do this is a called fake Dave QB roll-out keep.  This is actually an old play that T-formation teams used to run that OSU has successfully revitalized.  OSU ate up chunks of yards calling this play against Oregon on the final drive.

This play looks exactly the same as Dave:

  • The offensive line to the front side is going to run the exact same play.  Everyone through to the Center is going to down block to the inside gap.  
  • The FB is going to again attack the EMOLS.  As you can see watching the above play, however, the FB is going to try to 'influence' the OLB or DE to 'wrong arm' him like the defender is taught to do against the Dave play.  The FB will then hook up and box him in if successful.  
  • The backside guard is going to again pull, but this time rather than lead up inside the FB's kick-out block, he is going to pull around the FB and lead up on the outside 'force' player.  
  • The QB is going to fake Dave and then get depth and run a sweep, following the backside Guard's block.
One can instantly see the bind this puts on the outside defensive players.  As noted, the OLB or DE is taught to come in hard when they see the TE down-blocking to clog the C-gap.  But this play takes advantage of this aggressiveness by using the natural outside D gap that the defender is responsible for.  Oregon's players came down hard on the Dave action, leaving a wide outside gap.  It also puts the force player (the safety or corner) in a bind because they must think pass with the QB rolling out.  Of course, it helps to have a QB that runs a 4.3 and that naturally wants to find the edge against the defense.

Dave Rollout Pass

The final play that encompasses this series is the rollout pass off of the Dave play fake.  This play looks identical to the Dave rollout-QB keep except that the pulling guard is not going to go downfield.  Instead he is going to settle down outside the down blocks to create the pocket for the QB.  And the QB is going to get more depth than he would when running the designed run so that he will have room to set his feet and step into the throw.

OSU likes running this fake into a 'twins' set, meaning two wide receivers to the same side.  The base pattern they run off of this is a smash route.

This is one of the more popular route combination in college football, particularly against cover-2.  As one can see, it puts the cover-2 squat corner back in the disadvantageous position of having to cover a hi and low pattern, giving the offense a 2 on 1 advantage.   

Ohio State also likes taking advantage of the 'switch' concept to the two receiver side.  Originally a run 'n' shoot concept, the switch, as Chris Brown describes:

Is, at core, a two man concept. Two receivers release and "switch": The outside guys angle inside for 5-6 yards before pushing vertical, while the inside guy runs a "wheel route" under the outside guy, rubs right off of his hip, and then turns up the sideline. That's when they play gets interesting. 
 Finally, OSU will run essentially a variant of the smash where the inside receiver (normally Sanzenbacher) will run an out route and the inside receiver (Posey) will run a post-corner route.  This combination led to the majority of OSU's big plays out of the pass game last year.

As noted, the play puts the front side defensive backs in a bind.  Not only is it an effective pass combination against cover-2 or man, but the defensive backs must also contend with the run threat from Pryor, exacerbated by the called run play.

Tressel and company have therefore figured out a way to take their favorite run play--Dave--and make it far more effective by adding the run-pass edge threat that Terrelle Pryor presents.  Expect these plays to again be a large part of the 2010 offense.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Maple Street Press Preview Out

I'm giving myself a shameless plug and promoting the Maple Street Press' 'Buckeye Battle Cry,' their annual in-depth preview for the 2010 Buckeye season. 

I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to write an article for the preview edition, titled "Meeting of the Minds: Jim Tressel, Terrelle Pryor, and the 2010 Ohio State Offense."  The article previews the 2010 offensive scheme by reviewing the up's and down's of the 2009 season schematically, through the hodge-podge scheme against USC, to the attempt to run a "spread-to-run" offense against Purdue, and then culminating in the Oregon victory.  I focus on what made OSU so successful against Oregon, namely adopting two 'series' based schemes built around the combined threat of the OSU inside run game and the pass/run threat Terrelle Pryor presents on the edge.  I expect we will see more of this to come in 2010.  But if you want to check out the full article I highly recommend picking up the magazine--lots of great stuff for the 2010 season!

My next project is--building on this article and after reviewing the spring game--is to lay out the primary plays that make up the Buckeyes' offense.  

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Spring Game Thoughts

I am going to focus in this post on my Spring Game analysis.  But in a follow-up post I am going to expand and focus specifically on what is the Ohio State 'base' offense heading into 2010, both in terms of overall philosophy and specific plays.  After watching this spring it is clear that Ohio State is building very specifically on the offense employed in the Oregon game going forward, which I will discuss in more detail in future posts.

But first, specific thoughts from the Spring Game.  I re-watched and broke down the first half and did a play-by-play for the First Quarter.  Here are my specific thoughts:

  • I will discuss this in more detail later, but it is suffice to say that Ohio State's downfield passing game has 'evolved' to transition from a more pro-style, downfield passing game, to what I would consider is a more-typical college based spread attack employed by teams like Texas and Oklahoma State.  (See here).  The focus of this is short, horizontal stretching routes, specifically the: all curl route; the double slant/snag combination; quick outs; and the double scat routes.  (The play action passing game is more vertical, namely with flag/out combo, switch, and post/dig).  OSU will then run a deeper horizontal stretch with the 3-verticals route.  I do not want to use the word 'revolution', but this represents a continued development of what OSU gradually included last year that peaked in the Oregon game.
  • Building on this, the most promising thing I saw in the Spring Game was a Pryor to Stoneburner connection on the 3-verticals route.  The defense was playing a cover-2 man under.  As described in the above article, Stoneburner read the cover 2 and broke to the post.  Pryor read this perfectly, stepped up into the pocket, and delivered a strike before Stoneburner broke on his cut.  It was very well executed and bodes well for OSU this year.
  • I am with those who think Stoneburner is legit.  He needs to improve his 'scramble' reactions when the QB starts moving.  But he is a threat down the seams and the deep corner and brings another dimension that allows OSU to expand their pass game in the way described above.
  • Adams has, in my mind, locked down the LT position.  He is doing a great job sitting down in pass protection, being patient, and using his feet.  Last year he would get in trouble because he would rush to get outside, and then the DE would beat him underneath.  I am not seeing that any more.  I also think Marcus Hall may need to move inside.  He was constantly getting beat around the edge, and to me does not look to have the 'body' of a tackle.  It may simply be youth, but I would like to see him perhaps move inside with Adams and Shugarts only juniors.
  • Boom Herron ran the best I have seen him run as a Buckeye.  He stayed patient, kept his feet moving, and used his vision to find the hole as opposed to barreling into his blockers.  He was also the quickest I've seen him.  Jordan Hall again impressed me.  He had a great cutback on the first carry he received, which again makes me believe that he has the best vision of any of the running backs.
  • The Defense played very vanilla up-front.  They employed their usual array of coverages, but there was very little blitzing.  This gave the QBs more time and exposed the secondary more-so than they may otherwise be.
  • The above may qualify what I say here.  But I am now a bit concerned with the safety play.  I thought the safeties were repeatedly out of position and getting beat deep because they are too flat in their breaks.  I am not ready to pull the alarm yet because some of this were problems with the back-ups; I need to see Hines and Johnson together.  But I do not think there is any doubt that OSU's defensive strength is in the front 9, and I expect you will see defensive schemes that reflect it.
These are some quick thoughts, as I mentioned I will have an in-depth breakdown of OSU's offensive playbook coming soon.  For those interested, here is a play-by-play breakdown of the First Quarter +

First  Scarlet Series:
1st-10:  I sprint draw fake, 3 verticals.  Hall beat around right side, Pryor had to throw short
2d-10:  Gun ace right-Good time, nice job by Adams sitting down and moving his feet.  All curl play, Pryor anticipated Stoney’s cut and hit him right in stride.  5 yd gain.
3d-5:  Gun 4 wide.  Nickel.  2 high.  Rolle comes A gap.  Cover 1-robber.  Double snag routes.  Rolle beats Lindsey, Pryor doesn’t step into the throw and skips the in-route.

First Gray series
1st-10:  Gun split left.  4-3 under.  1 high.  Lead zone left.  Z Boren neutralizes Klein and Boom has a nice cut outside.  5 yd.
2d-5:  I-twins right.  4-3 over plus 2-high.  Sprint draw play pass right.  Cover 1 man.  Deep safety stays inside, Posey beats Torrence, PI.
1st-10:  Gun ace right strong.  3-4 heads up.  2 high.  3 man pass dropback route.  Q-Q-H coverage.   The DBs took false steps, wide open but Guiton didn’t put air under it. 
2d-10:  I right.  3-4 straight up.  Sprint draw right.  Offside.
2d-5:  I left.  4-3 over.  2 high.  Zip motion right to twins.  Sprint draw right.  Saine missed the cutback, instead tried to cut outside. 
3d-7:  Gun ace right strong..  Nickel double eagle 2 high.  Nickel blitz.  Double slant/snag route combo made so famous during Oregon.  Way too much DB slack in man coverage, easy pickings on the slant-route. 
1st-10:  Gun ace tight trips strong.  3-4 nickel.   4 vertical pass pattern.  Cover 3, Torrence never gets deep enough-nice catch by Washington.  Deep safety No. 8 got stuck in no mans-land.  Bad safety play for Scarlet.

Second Scarlet Series:
1st-10:  Gun tight trips left.  Nickel 2 high.  Cover 2 man under.  3 verticals.  Great read by Stoney on the 3 verticals play.  He saw the cover 2 so broke for the goal post between them.  Fantastic job by Pryor stepping up in the pocket, never taking his eyes off downfield and hitting him on the cut.  Most promising thing I’ve seen. 
1st-10:  I twins left.  4-3 open plus 2 high.  Fake Dave pass left.  LBers bit the Dave fake.  Very nice job by Browning getting his shoulders squared pulling.  Nice change up in the route—ran a ‘switch’ route.  Will fool teams expecting the flag-out combo.  Fooled Sabino who was stuck in no-mans land. 
1st-10:  Gun tight trips right weak.  4-3 under 2 high.  3 step ‘Texas double out route.”  Great job by Pryor
1st-10:  Gun tight trips left strong.  4-3 open plus 2 high.  Dropback.  Q-Q-H coverage.  Snag-flag combo.  Clarke got stuck in quick sand.  Pryor hit his spot and threw it right on time. 

Second Gray Series
1st-10:  Ace double tight wing right.  3-4 shaded to the field (NG and backside in 2-I techniques).  2 high.  Draw.  Great job by Brewster and Boren controlling and turning their men.  4 yds. 
2d-7: Gun 4 wide right.  4-2 nickel 2 high.  For whatever reason Mewhert did not get off on the snap count, leaving Bellamy basically untouched into the backfield.  Sack. 
3d-11:  Gun split backs left.  Nickel 1 high.  Q-Q-H.  Flood route left.  Miller got out of position and Heyward was able to shed inside.
Third Red Series
1st-10:  Strong I right.  4-2 nickel.  Playaction  shallow cross “drive” route.  M. Hall again got beat to the outside.  Pryor ball batted. 
2d-10:  Gun 4-wide.  Nickel 2 high.  Double snag route.  Hall got beat inside this time but Pryor stepped up and delievered the flag route.  Q-Q-H coverage but the deep half safety never got over to his side quickly.  Stoney in the slot running the flag route-tough in that position.  Great job with Adams dealing with the swin move.
1st-10:  Gun ace left.  4-3 over 1 high.  Double curl-flag route. 
2d-7:  Gun tight trips stron.  3-3 nickel.  4 verticals route.  2 deep man under.  Pryor throws the vertical to Stoney but doesn’t put enough air on it.  Should have checked down. 
3d-12:  Ace right:  3-3 nickel.  Adams overextended himself, getting beat inside quickly, forcing Pryor to dump off.  

Third Scarlet Series
1st-10:  Lead draw-great quicks by Boom; best I have seen him run

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The OSU 2010 Jersey Scrimmage

I had the privilege of attending the OSU jersey scrimmage today.  Because I was in the South Stands I had a good "video" view of the offensive and defensive schemes from directly behind the action.

I want to make one general point, then I'll turn to schemes and players.

Overall:  I'm sure the CW out of this scrimmage will be that the offense and offensive line were not any good.  But that is really an unfair reading.  First off, the 1s did not play very much as a unit.  And then of the snaps the 1s played, Pryor only played about half of those snaps.  I personally saw Pryor play maybe 3 series.  And then you have the fact that he is in a black jersey and cannot run.  And then you add the fact that the 1s were largely working situations, like coming out of their own goal line.  But all that being said, the first team offense largely did the job against the first team defense.  They moved the ball running, Pryor had time to make plays, and the line worked pretty well together.  There were some dropped balls, but the wind was terrible.  The one's looked worse when Bauserman played, as he cannot help but get balls tipped.  But where the offense really looked bad was the 2s and 3s against OSU's 2d and 3d string defense.  But think about it--we are so loaded at DE and LBer how many of those guys would be starting for every other Big Ten Team:  Wells, Thomas, Klein, Dorian Bell, Newsome, etc.  So they were lighting up patchwork second and third team O-Lines.  So you really can only expect so much.



  • The offense is largely building upon what they did against Oregon.  It is a really nice package built around several series from both the shotgun and I that have the common theme of being built around the inside running threat and outside run/pass threat of Pryor.
  • That means a combination of the 'spread', namely with tight trips or 3 wide, split backs, based around the zone read play and then the half roll passes off of that, and then the I-formation, based upon the Dave/rollout and sprint draw series.  You will notice that all of these series have the common fact that they combine our inside running game with the outside run/pass threat bind that Pryor puts defenses in.  So it plays to the teams strengths and really works well together.  They all allow Pryor to get to the outside where he is such a threat.  For example, we saw the fake Dave QB run play that Pryor just killed Oregon.  That play puts the OLB in such a bind--does he screw down on the power play like he's taught to do, or does he stay outside to contain Pryor?  As VB said, pretty much all you can do is tell your SAM LBer to just make a decision one way or another, don't get stuck in no-man's land.  The Tight-trips shotgun formation also is such a threat to the defense.  They put the HB to the tight trips side.  That means you have 7 defenders to the strong side of the football that the defense has to acount for accordingly.  But then, OSU can run inside zone back to the weakside, and also has Posey alone to that side.  So a defense is put in the bind of both having to respect the numbers to the strength but accounting for what they may see to the weak side.
  • OSU is consciously working hard to get the TEs and Running Backs involved in the passing game.  OSU showed some unbalanced where Stoneburner would be to the weakside but then release into the pass route.  Every pass pattern called was a 5 man route with the TE running seam, drag, or in routes.

  • OSU's defense has reached a point that they are all so comfortable with teh system and what they are trying to do that they are getting very complicated.  Their base is 4-3 under personnel.  But from that they go a variety of ways.  Oftentimes they will play a 3-4, but they bump down one side into an 'eagle' look with a 3 technique.  The thing is, its really hard to figure out what their keys are.  Sometimes they bump the eagle down based on formation strength, sometimes based on the field.  Other times they played a straight-up 3-4.  Still other times they showed a 4-3 over.  Coverage-wise they are showing cover 1 press, but then often dropping to a lot of quarter-quarter-half coverage.
  • And the Defense was really bringing the heat today.  Rolle and Homan were constantly x-blitzing, and they would often bring Williams around on a twist.  Everything OSU is doing defensively reflects a staff and team that is confident in what they are doing and their ability.

  • In the limited amount of action Pryor looked very comfortable in the pocket.  He was stepping up, making his reads, and staying comfortable in the pocket.  I remarked that he just looks much more comfortable and in control with everything.
  • Cameron Hayward is the leader of this team.  He is extremely vocal the first one running down the field to participate in drills, the one in front cheering and hollering on the defense, and spurring people on.  The defense takes on his persona and they were really animated and cheering each other on all day.  IIt is funny, Simon is like Heyward's shadow, he tries to follow and mimic everything he is doing.   The offense, by comparison, was pretty lacking in emotion.  Now, part of this is just the defense between offensive and defensive football.  But right now it is clear who the defense's leader is, the offense does not have someone as vocal.  Heyward is poised to take another step forward and be the most dominant defensive linemen in college fb this year.
  • The defense flies to the football.  It's hard to say certain people stand out, because they are running and gang-tackling everyone.
  • As I said, I thought the first team O-Line looked pretty good.  I thought Miller may have gotten a few more snaps than Adams, but I thought Adams more than held his own.  My personal sense is that Adams will be the starter and is playing better, but they are going to make him earn it.
  • I think Sabino has fully locked down the SAM spot.  People need to realize that the 3 LBer positions are not interchangeable.  You can play either the inside spots (Mike or Will) or the Sam spot.  The Sam is now always on the LOS and is basically a mix between your traditional head-up on the TE linebacker and the nickel star player.  Half the time he is playing in the "grey" area splitting between the end of the line and wide receivers, forcing everything inside.  Sabino's athleticism allows him to do this and really gives the 3-4 look another dimension.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Rose Bowl Review: Ohio State's Offense

I must admit that I did not predict this.  I thought that Ohio State's goal would be to control the clock, make first downs and keep the ball away from Oregon.  Ohio State succeeded on each account, to the tune of nearly 42 minutes of time of possession..  What I did not expect was that OSU would do so through an mix of quick dropback and playaction passing, the inside run game, and Terrelle Pryor's legs.  When one reviews the tape, though, it becomes clear that OSU had a great gameplan for what Oregon was trying to do.

1.  This game contained a great chess match.  As expected, Oregon showed a variety of looks at OSU.  But it can effectively summed up as follows:

--Against Ohio State's pro formations, Oregon largely employed a 4-3 "open plus" (3 and 5 technique strong with their strongside Lber over the TE and other Linebackers stacked) with their backside safety walked up as the 8th man.  Oregon also heavily favored the strong-side of the formation.

--Against OSU's shotgun looks, Oregon mixed in heavy doses of 6 and 7 man blitzes with soft man coverage behind it, with looks where they would rush 3, leave their 4th linemen 'spying' Pryor, and play Quarter-Quarter-Half coverage behind it to try and double Posey.

To break this down, Oregon brought multiple blitzes, but their favorite was a favorite for them all year; what some call a "Florida" blitz, where two linebackers come off the weak edge with the line then stunting strong (though Oregon generally ran this with man coverage behind it). (H/T: Smart Football).


Oregon's goal, as they made clear during the run-up to the Rose Bowl was to rattle Pryor.  They then tried to mix in the Quarter-Quarter-Half coverage.  This coverage, among other things, rolls towards one side of the field, allowing a team to 'bracket' the offense's best receiver.

Oregon mixed in this coverage, likely in the hope that Pryor would be rattled from all the blitzing and try to force balls to Posey.  Oregon's ultimate goal was to take away OSU's inside power running game first, and make Pryor beat them with his arms and legs.

2.  Ohio State did a very effective job attacking these looks and had a great gameplan.

--First, Ohio State just wore Oregon out by running one play that had a simple yet multifaceted coverage beater to each side.  It was a five man pattern featuring double slants to one side and a 'snag' combination to the other.  Snag is a 3-man route where the outermost receiver runs a snag or scat route, the inner receiver running a flag, and the back releasing to the flat. 

Here is the play in full (you can also see above)

This play provided Ohio State multiple benefits.  First, it was part of the quick passing game so it allowed Pryor to throw before the blitz came.  Second, putting these routes to each side actually provided '3' coverage beaters.
  • It provided a man coverage beater in the double slants and a zone coverage beater in the snag.
  • Against zone, it had both a cover 2 beater in the slant and a cover 3 (or other 4 man underneath zone) beater in the snag.
  • Finally, it provided quick hot routes to either side against the blitz.  
Ohio State  gameplanned very well in designing this play against the myriad of blitzes they knew Oregon would show.  The double slants were particularly effective against the loose coverage Oregon was playing behind their blitzes; sometimes it was like stealing.

This was the primary play OSU used to control the clock passing.

--Second, OSU also did a nice job utilizing play-action.  The next two primary plays they utilized fall into this category.  First, out of shotgun, they used a quick half-roll off of zone read to hit the inside receiver on a quick out following under a fly route.

--Third, Ohio State then looked to make 'big' plays off their I-formation play action passing game, particularly their 2-man smash routes off the 'Dave' play-action rollouts.  OSU thus used their 'shotgun-spread' passing game to control the clock and their I formation play-action passing game to make big plays.  While this may seem paradoxical at first, it is a tried and true rule for two reasons.  First, in a pro-formation the offense has more pass protectors to give the QB more time to hit plays downfield.  Second, the safeties creep up to stop the run, opening holes.  As can be seen here, OSU was able to draw up Oregon's safeties who were continually playing run against OSU's I formation, allowing big plays. 

Ohio State was also able to design plays to take advantage of Oregon's blitzes; for example the wheel route to Saine is one where they guessed correctly that Oregon was running their 'Florida blitz, leaving Saine streaking down the sideline past the dropping Defensive End.

--Finally, Ohio State was able to get positive plays for Pryor running on the edge due to Oregon's emphasis on stopping the inside running game.  Oregon's safeties were playing hard downhill, allowing Pryor get to the edge.  The last drive was perhaps the best example with the called Dave rollout runs, but Ohio State was able to do so in the zone read game also.  Oregon was selling out to stop the give, leaving the keep open in key situations. 

In all these instances, Ohio State perfectly gameplanned for what Oregon likes to do.  Oregon could not get a pass rush with their defensive front, so they knew they needed to blitz.  But to try to avoid giving up big plays, they played loose man coverage.  OSU moved the ball up and down the field hitting quick slants and outs in front of that coverage, eating up chunks of yards and clock.

2.  It goes without saying that Pryor played a very good game.  Perhaps most impressively, he did a very nice job diagnosing Oregon's coverage and blitzes, stepping into the pockets and hitting the quick routes.  In addition, what sometimes gets overlooked--because he makes it look so easy--is just how important some of his individual efforts were running the football.  Time and again he would pick up critical first downs.  He did his best job yet of running North and South and running physically.  That is very demoralizing to a defense and sustained multiple drives.

3.  Posey took his game to another level.   I have at times been critical of the Wide Receiver's this year, particularly in being physical off the line of scrimmage, running crisp routes, and concentration.  But Posey really showed marked improvement--he was extremely physical and went up and made plays.  Because of this, as noted, Oregon went to quite a bit of quarter-quarter-half coverage.  This opened things up for Dane on the quick outs and slants.  Though Dane was still getting bottled up too often off the line against press coverage, he did a nice job making plays.  The improved wide receiver play was nearly as important to the offense's success as Pryor.

4.  The offensive line played very, very well.  There is no doubt that they became the strength of this offense by the end of the year.  Oregon had no chance of getting pressure without blitzing.  And, for all the exotic looks they saw, the Line largely did a good job of picking things up, other than Cordle and Shugarts occasionally getting beat off the edge by stunting linemen.  They dominated Oregon in run blocking--Shugarts, Browning, and Ballard were particularly impressive; I think this was Ballard's best blocking game this year.   And it was great to see the offense pick up every third and fourth and short.  Oregon knew we were going to run the 'Dave' play but could not stop it.  Everyone could see how pumped Tressel was about this on the last drive  and it cannot be considered anything but a big step forward from where things started with the Navy game.  The offensive line cannot be considered anything but a strength as OSU heads into next year. 

5.  I hate ending on a negative note, but my one real critique is the tailback play.  Though they did well in the pass game, they had bad games running the football.  I cannot tell you how many big run plays were left on the field by Herron and Saine missing holes--it was disappointing to see (one example is on the 'Dave' play in the first video clip above-rather than following his Z. Boren kicking out in the 'C' gap where the play is supposed to go he runs right into the frontsides down blocks).

I have seen them have better games, but vision is neitherof their strong suits and I do not know whether that is something you can really 'develop.'  To me, this is the major area that, as of now,will hold back OSU's offense going forward next year.  It really puts a lot of pressure on the OLine to be perfect and Pryor to be a major factor with his legs. 

Putting that aside, though, this was a very good performance by the coaching staff and offensive unit.  OSU perfectly dissected what Oregon's scheme and devised a gameplan to both attack it and control the clock.  Then, Pryor and the offense played at a high level throughout the game and repeatedly made key plays.  A great victory and a good omen going forward.  The Play-by-Play below.

First Possession:  0-0.  OSU 25
1st-10:  Gun Ace right strong.  Oregon 4-3 tight under.  2 high.
Dropback.  OSU runs a snag/in combo.  Oregon cover 2.  No one open.
Good protection.  Pryor tries to force the ball, incomplete.
2d-10:  Gun trips right weak.  Or3 3-4 Half Eagle 2 high.  Fake zone
left, bubble screen right.  Nice block by T. Washington stalemating
his man, letting Dane gain 5.
3d-5:  Gun.  Ace right-H-back right weak.  Or:  Eagle, 0 high.
Dropback.  Ore twists up front, cover man robber.  Browning pancakes
DT, giving Pryor a running lane.  Completely outruns the robber
linebacker, then breaks the DBs ankles.  24 yd gain.  Great run.
Posey pancakes guy at the end.
1st-10:  Ace trey right:  Fake zone left, half roll right.  Oregon
Q-Q-H coverage.  Nice block by Ballard to establish the edge.  Quick
out to Posey for 5.
2d-5:  Gun-Ace right strong-Stoney as a tight flanker right.   Oregon
eagle weak 1 high.  DT twist nickel blitz.  Cover 1.  Double slant to
the left.  Perfect call against the nickel blitz.  Great throw by
Pryor.  8 yd gain.  Nice job by Cordle picking up and driving the
nickel back inside, letting Pryor step up.
1st-10:  Ace trips right weak:  Ore-Eagle to the TE 2 high.  Ore only
had 2 guys on OSU trips.  Bubble screen to Sanz, good blocking, 7 yd
gain.  Unlike USC punished them for not covering up our WRs.
2d-3:  Gun trey left strong.  Oregon Eagle strong.  1 high.  Zone
right.  Great blocking by Shugarts and Browning at the POA.  Shugarts
manhandled the DE, establishing the edge, and then Browning locked up
the LB.  Very nice cut by Saine off of Browning.  6 yd gain, first
down.   Ore constantly aligning to TE, so we attacked to the weak
1st-10:  Gun, ace right stron.  Oregon:  4-2-5 strong 2 high.
Droback.  Coverage beaters.  Double slants to left side, ‘snag’ combo
to right.  Cover 4.  Not a very good pattern by Sanz, not a great
decision by Pryor-had Washington or Posey open.
2d-10:  Gun ace trey right strong.  Ore Eagle trong.  1 high.  Oregon
double backer weakside blitz, slant strong.  Man coverage.  Fade stop
to Posey (man coverage beater).  Great throw, needs to be caught.
3d-10:  Gun tight trips right strong.  Dropback.  All curl route.  Ore
cover 2.  Great protection.   Cordle and Brewster lock up their man.
Very nice job by Pryor checking down to Saine.  And then great run by
Brandon bowling over the DB for the TD.
1st-10:  Tight I left.  Ore-4-3 under.  2 high.  Dave left.  Ore’s
safeties came up immediately, nice job by Boom bouncing it outside.  8
yd gain plus a facemask.
1st-10:  I twins right.  Ore-3-4 strong.  0 high.  Dave right.  Pryor
checked into it going the way where they had a 3 technique and a LBer.
 Big downblocks by Shugarts and Browning.  Nice job pulling around by
Boren, huge hole.  9 yd gain.
2d-1:  Gun tight trips right.  Ore 3-4 under.  Zone right left.  Pryor
should have kept.  Ore slanted hard on the zone action, Brewster got
beat across his face, 2 yd loss.
3d-3:  Gun double tight halfback left.  Ore-nickel under 2 high.  Zone
read right.  Ore scrape exchanges-they had the right call here, but
Pryor just owns the LBer with a stiff arm and takes him to the ground.
 Nice block by Boom to get Pryor the first down.  5 yd gain.
1st-10:  I twins right:  Ore-4-3 under nickel:  1 high.  ISO right.
Decent blocking at the POA, but not much movement, limiting to a 3 yd
gain.  Ore’s safety walked up at the last minute, stopping the play.
2d-9:  Gun ace right strong.  Ore 4-3 under nickel.  Fake zone right,
double slants high, snag underneath.  Cover 1.  Pryor great throw to
Dane on the inside double slant.   12 yd gain.  This route beat Oregon
like a tom-tom here.  Offered Pryor a lot of options.  Versus man it
has a coverage beater-double slants versus cover 2, snag versus cover
3.  Versus man has two man beater routes in the slant and the snag.
And also gives two-easy hot routes to each side versus the blitz.
1st-10:  Gun tight trips right strong  Ore nickel over 1 high.  Zone
read left.  Cordle and Boren didn’t sustain their blocks well, and
Boom missed the hole.  3 yd gain.  Offsides, though.
1st-5:  I twins right.  Oregon 4-3 over and LBs shaded strong.
Safeties at 10 yds.  Dave right.  Blocked perfectly to bounce it
outside except the safety came up.  I still think Boom should have
bounced out instead of shoving his head in the hole.  2 yd gain.
Oregon’s safeties were playing so aggressively when we were in the I.
2d-5:  I twins right.  Ore 4-3 over.  9 guys within 7 yds.  Sprint
draw pass right. Shugarts got his pads down and got beat on the speed
rush.  Pryor tries to scramble around.  If Cordle and Ballard stay
with their guys Pryor has a big play but gets tripped up.
3d-15:  Gun ace right:  Dropback.  Flood left, option routes
underneath.  Cordle gets beat inside by Rowe.  Pryor rolls right,
somehow gets the ball off.  Dane was open but he needed to come
horizontal as he should on the ‘scramble’ drill.  Incomplete.

Third Possession:  7-0  OSU 49
1st-10:  Gun split twins left.  Ore 3-4 nickel strong.  1 high.
Dropback.  Oreg brought 6.  “Florida blitz”—two off weak side, slant
to strong, drop off the strongside.  Cover 1.  3 verticals route with
a HB wheel route.  Saine against the DE in man coverage down the
sideline.  Great job by Pryor sliding in the pocket and hitting Saine
on the fly.  45 yd gain.
1st-Goal at the 4:  Gun split unbalanced left, H-back otion right.
Ore 4-4.  Was going to be an outside zone away from the unbalanced,
but bad snap by Brewster trying to reach block.  Nice job by Pryor
minimizing the damage.
2d-6:  Gun unbalanced double tight-H-back motion to the weak side.
Ore Eagle 2 high.  Fake outside zone bootleg right.  Not a great block
by Cordle establishing the edge.  If Pryor is patient, Z. Boren comes
wide open, but he forces the issue, 2 yd gain on a scramble
3d-4:  Gun unbalanced right, twins left stron.  Ore-4-3 under.  Load
option right.  If Pryor runs the play and actually options the
playside linebacker Saine walks into the endzone untouched.  But he
danced too much with it trying to make a play.  2 yd gain.
Fourth Possession:  OSU 10-3.  OSU 16 yd line.
1st-10:  Gun split backs left.  Ore 4-2 under nickel.  2 high.  Load
option left.  Ore’s safeties come flying up-Pryor needs to pitch the
ball but instead gets strung out.  Need the playaction off of that.
2d-8:  Gun ace left strong.  Ore Eagle weak to field 2 high.
Dropback.  Same double slant/snag combo.  Ore did a DT around stunt,
double weakside blitz, Adams and Boren got caught in no-man’s land,
letting the stunter come around unscathed.  Ore likes bringing 2
backers to one side, move the line the other way.
3d-7: Gun ace left weak.  Or-3-3-5.  7 man blitz.  Dane gets
manhandled at the line, so he doesn’t come free for the hot route.
Protection was not terrible, Brewster did not maintain his block but
Pryor forced it a hair too early.  Dane was wide open if he is
patient.  1 yd loss.
Fifth Possession:  10-10.  OSU 33
1st-10:  Gun trips right.  Ore-3-4 to the field.  Dropback.  Double
stunt twist blitz.  OSU picked up the blitz, Dane did not turn around
for the ball, though.
2d-10:  Ace bunch left.  Ore-4-4 under to bunch.  1 high.  Dave left.
Big hole.  Nice kickout by Ballard and pull by Browning.  Boom ran
outside the hole, then worked hard for 6 yards.
3d-5:  Gun split right.  Ore 3-4 2 high.  Dropback,.  Ore drops 8,
plays Q-Q-H.  Pryor forces the rush upfield.  Facemask.  15 yds.
1st-10:  Gun ace tight trips right strong-Ore 4-3 uneder.  False start.
1st-15:  Gun motion to tight trips right, stron.  Ore 3-4 to field.
Fake zone left, Smash right.  Pryor delivers right away to Posey on
the snag route.  4 yd gain.
2d-11:  Ace right weak.  Ore-4-3 over to field.  2 high.  Dropback.
Inside screen.  Bad luck.  Called a screen when Oregon dropped 7 into
a cover 4.
3d-11:  Gun split backs right.  Ore-3-3-5.  Dropback.  Ore rushes 2
and spies Pryor.  Ore drops into Q-Q-H.   Doing it to double Posey.
Great play by Pryor and Boom-Pryor moving to buy time, Boom by coming
back inside when he saw him scrambling.  15 yd gain.
1st-10:  Gun ace right stron.  Ore-Eagle to strength.  0 high.
Favorite play-double slants, snag.  Ore double backer blitz, and
stunt.  Pryor hits Posey before the stunt man comes around on Cordle.
Ore favorite blitz-Double LBer blitz to weak side, 3 technique to that
side stunt around.  9 yd gain.
2d-1:  I left.  Ore 4-3 under 2 high.  Dave left.  Big hole where the
play is called-Ballard and Cordle collapsed down Oregon’s line.  Saine
hit it up inside for whatever reason.  Still got the first down 2 yd
1st-10:  Did not get set.  5 yd penalty.
1st-15:  Gun split backs right—Ore 4-4 under-Ore stunt left.  OSU fake
zone right, boot left.  Flood right.  Ore’s LB blitzed off the edge
unblocked.  Nice play by Pryor stepping up and great grap by Posey on
the cross, using his strength to grab the pass.  8 yd gain.
2d-7:  OSU gun split left.  Or-Eagle to the field.  1 high. All curl.
Ore double LB A gap blitz, stunt.  Cordle came inside to pick up the
backer, letting the stunt man come around free.  Pryor could not find
anyone open.  Kept it straight up the middle.  Coverage sack.
3d-7:  Gun trips right.  Ore-3-4-5.  Ore stunt.  Nice pick-up by
Saine.  Good job by Shugarts on the edge.  Pryor gets outside and
outruns 5 Oregon players and then runs over Ore’s DB.  6 yd gain.
4th-1:  Double Tight I-fly motion right.  Ore goaline 4-4.  Dave
right.  Great POA surge by Ballard and Shugarts opening a big hole.
Shugarts dominated the ‘5’ technique.  Nice lead blocks by the Borens.
 5 yard gain.  Dominating statement.  1:51
1st-Goal:  Gun Ace right strong.  Oregon 4-3 under 1 high.  Dropback.
4 man rush.  Q-Q-H coverage.  Post corner routes.  Good
protection-Oregon could not get pressure with just 4.  No opening,
threw it away beyond Posey.
2d-Goal:  Gun 5 wide, trips lef.  Ore nickel shift strong 2-high.  Ore
had no one over Dane, Pryor tries to get a quick snap to throw the
bubble.  By the time Brewster snaps Oregon had re-aligned and shifted
a man over.  Then Dane tried to string it out.  2 yd loss.
3d-Goal:  Gun split back right.  Ore-3-3-5.  Ore rushes 2, plays a
cover 1 robber with a spy on Pryor.  Dropback, shallow cross, snag
combo.  No one open, Pryor tries to force it to Posey.  Incomplete.

1st-10:  Gun split back right.  Ore-3-4 2 high.  Dropback.  Roll into
Q-Q-H.  Good protection, nice job by Browning and Ballard.  Pryor
holds the ball a long time, could have run for yards.  Threw it away
2d-10:  Gun trips right.  Ore 3-4 2 high.  Dropback.  ‘Drive’ crossing
route combo.  Rowe beats Shugarts spinning inside, but great pickup of
him by Browning.  Pryor does a very nice job stepping up in the pocket
and throwing a crossing route to Sanz.  16 yd gain.
1st-10:  Spike
2d-10:  Gun split back twins right.  Ore 3-4.  2 high.  Ore brings the
‘Raider’ blitz.  Stunting DT gets around Cordle, flushes Pryor in
pocket.  Throws it away.

1st Possession-Ore 17-16.  OSU 20
1st-10:  Gun ace left.  Ore-4-3 overshift.  1 high.  Motion to tight
trips.  Zone read left.  Nice blocks at the POA.  Brewster does not
sustain his block quite long enough, but Cordle  lets his guy go
upfield and Boren gets to the second level and stalemates the LB.  5
yd gain.
2d-5:  Gun trips right.  Ore 4-3 over shifted a gap further strong
(something they do often).  1 high.  Bubble screen.  Nice run by Dane,
setting up the cut inside.  7 yd gain.
1st-10:  I twins left.  Ore 4-3 open plus.  Dave right.  HUGE hole
right where the play is supposed to go.  Great kick out by Z. Boren
and down blocks by Ballard and Shugarts.  But for whatever reason
Saine does not follow his lead blockers and instead runs inside into
traffic.   Could have been a big play, instead only 2 yards.  The TBs
left a lot of yards on the field.
2d-8:  I twins right.   Ore Eagle 1 high.  Fake Dave rollout left.
Smash combo.  Ore safeties bite on the fake.  Pryor does a great job
setting his feet and throwing a perfect ball over Posey’s back
shoulder.  36 yd gain.  9:15 3d quarter
1st-10:  Gun tight trips right stron.  Ore-Overshifted 4-3 over.  1
high.  Fake zone left, roll right.  Smash route.  Ore squeezes to the
run, great job by Pryor delivering the ball before Ore’s OLB recovers.
 6 yd gain.  Great use of playaction on this drive.
2d-5:  I twins left.  Ore-4-2-5 look.  1 high.  Stretch left.  Really
nice job by Cordle and Brewster locking their men and getting hats to
the play side.  Saine turns it up and gets 4.
3d-1:   Double tight I right.  Ore 4-4 pinch 1 high.  Dave left.  Big
push by Ballard on the frontside DE, great kickout and pull by Boren
and Browning, and then really nice job by Saine sticking his nose
right up the field for the first down.  Ore had 9 guys in the box with
their playside DE sitting in C gap and still did not stop it.
1st-10:  Gun motion to tight trips right stron.  Ore-4-3 double A gap.
 Zone read left.  Brewster gets tossed by the playside 1 technique,
who blows up the play.  Pryor should have kept the ball.
2d-13:  Gun tight trips right stron.  Ore-3-3 2 high.  Dropback.
Flood left Ore brought 7-3 off the right.  Dane and Ballard wide open.
 Dane had it but laid out and dropped it.  Nice job getting rid of the
3d-13:  Gun ace left.  Or-3-4. 1 high.  Ore brings 7.  Nice job by the
right side of the line picking it up.  Dane open on skinny post,  but
Pryor throws the hot route and Dane runs his route-miscommunication.
Dane needed to cut off his break.
Second Possession:  OSU 19-17.  OSU 20
1st-10:  OSU I left.  Ore 4-3 under 1 high.  Fake Dave left.  Ore bit
hard on playfake.  Nice job by Boren kicking out the end, Pryor
stepped up in the pocket and delivered a strike to Posey on the out.
Ballard ran a shallow cross.  First time I’ve seen them run this play
from a non-twins set.    15 yd out.
1st-5 (offsides):  Gun split backs left.  Ore 4-3 over strong.  2
high.  Outsise zone right.  False start
1st-10:  Gun split backs left.  Ore 4-3 under 1 high.  Fake outside
zone left, boot right.  May have had Ballard on the delay route, but
Rowe stayed home and made the play.  5 yd loss.
2d-15:  Gun empty.  Ore 3-3 shift to field.  1 high.  QB draw.  Nice
initial set-up.  Ballard did not have a good stalk block of Rowe, but
Pryor drills him with a stiff arm that knocks a DE down.  6 yd gain.
3d-8:  Gun ace right.  Ore-3-4.  1 high.  3 man rush.  Cover 1 robber.
 Nice protection.  Pryor has Posey going down the sideline but lofts
it up and leaves it short.  Interception.   Herron’s guy had slipped
but Pryor did not see him.
Third Possession:  OSU 19-17.  OSU 12
1st-10:  I right.  Ore 4-3 under 2 high.  ISO right.  Good blocking by
J. Boren on the backside completely locking his man down.  Nice cut by
Saine and then runs over the safety and knocks his helmet off-their
safeties were flying down all game.  5 yd gain.
2d-5:  I twins left.  Ore-4-3 over 1 high.  Dave right.  Great
kick-out by Z. Boren-huge hole outside by Saine missed the cut and ran
into the defense.  2 yd gain.
3d-3:  Gun ace left.  Oregon brings 7.  Double slants left.  Just a
tad beyond Sanz’ reach.
Fourth Possession:  OSU 19-17.  OSU 21
1st-10:  Gun ace left.  Ore-4-3 over. 2 high.  Dropback.  Nice initial
job by Cordle and Shugarts on the edges.  Then amazing run by Pryor
through an arm tackle for 12 yds.  12:10 4th.
1st-10:  Gun tight trips right strong.  Ore 4-3 tight.  1 high.
Corner blitz.  Zone read left.  Ore backside end did not respect the
keep and ran Boom down from behind.  Too bad because very good push
from Shugarts and Browning.  3 yd gain.
2d-8:  Gun tight trips right.  Ore 4-3 over tight.  1 high.  Fake zone
read left, boot quick out to Sanz.  5 yd gain.  11:25.
3d-5:  Gun ace left strong.  Ore-3-3-5.  2 high.  Giving Dane a 15 yd
cushion.  That is stealing.  Double slant, snag combo.
1st-10:  I left.  Ore 4-3 tight.  1 high.  Dave rollout right.  Boren
and Boom run into each other.  Pryor takes off back across the
field-huge hole except Rowe is able to trip him up from behind for a 1
yd loss.
2d-11:   Shift to Gun tight trips strong.  Ore 3-3-5.  Sprint option
right.  Pryor had the cutback, but slipped.  1 yd loss.
3d-12:  Gun ace right.  Ore-3-3-5 2 high.  Dropback.  Double post,
flood right.  Ore 3 deep.  Cordle gets beat off the edge, Pryor rolls
outside, hits Ballard as he releases deep off the scramble.  Amazing
catch.  25 yd gain
1st-10:  Gun twins left.  Fake zone right, boot left.  Smash.  Hits
Dane on quick out.  Incomplete.
2d-10:  Ace tight bunch left unbalanced.  Ore 4-3 open plus.  Dave
left.  Nice frontside blocking blocking down and locking up the
frontside.  Herron tiptoes a bit, gets 4.
3d-6:  Gun ace right.  Ore 3-4 2 high.  Ore all blitz-brings 7.  Zone
read left.  The backside safety bit down enough for Pryor to get the
edge and stiffarm him.  He’s then able to outrun everyone else for a
first down.  Huge individual play by him.
1st-10:  I twins left.  Ore-4-3 open plus.  1 high.  ISO right.  Huge
hole on the right side.  Shugarts pancakes the DE and Browning drove
his guy down.   Z.  Boren then pancakes the LBer.   Herron completely
misses the hole and runs up Brewster’s back.   I saw this WAY too many
times this game.  2 yard gain.
2d-8:  Gun split back rights.  Dropback.  Ore Cover 2.  Nice
protection.  Ore had no hope of getting a pass rush without blitzing.
Stop-fade to Posey.   Perfect throw and great catch.  TD.

Fifth Possession-OSU 26-17.  OSU 27
1st-10:  I twins right.  Ore 4-3 open plus. 1 high.  Stretch right.
Browning gets beat but for whatever reason Saine cuts inside.  If he
follows Boren he makes a positive play.
2d-12:  Motion to Gun tight trips strong.  Ore-4-3 over.  1 high.
Load option right.  Pryor makes the pitch—should have done so earlier.
 Nice blocking by Washington on the edge.  10 yd gain.
3d-2:  Gun double tight strong right.  Ore 4-2-5.  1 high.  Load
option right.  Great run by Pryor getting up the field and running
physical for the first down.  5 yd gain.Very nice job at the POA by
Shugarts and Browning creating the hole.  Shugarts kept his head
playside and ran with the DE, and Browning wheeled and turned his guy
1st-10:  Double Tight I left.  Dave right.  Saine again misses the
hole.   This play is a C gap play.  The FB kicks out the pulling Guard
seals.  The TB needs to follow those two and run between them.  It is
a hole to bounce play.  Again and again the TBs would run up inside
right where the down blocks are taking place and miss big holes.  2 yd
2d-8:  Double tight I left.  Ore 4-3 open plus.  1 high.  3 min left.
Fake Dave called run rollout left.  Great job by Boren on the edge
locking down the playside corner allowing Pryor to get around the
edge.  7 yard gain.
3d-1:  Double tight I right.  Ore 4-3 open plus.  Dave left.  Nice job
by Browning pulling and sealing off the traffic  and of Saine sticking
his head in there for the first.  3 yd gain.
1st-10:  Double tight I right.  Ore 4-3 open plus.  1 high.  ISO left.
 The safety filled immediately and made the play for a 1 yd gain.
2d-9:  Tight I right.  Ore 4-3 over tight.  Dave fake keep right.
Great blocks by the Boren brothers-pancacked the playside LBer.  Big
space for TP to run 13 yd gain.
1st-10:  Tigh I left:  Ore 4-3 open plus 1 high.  ISO right.  Nice cut
by Boom in traffic around Browning taking his guy inside.  4 yd gain.
Victory Formation.