Upon Further Review: Offense vs. Southern Cal

By Jason Priestas on September 17, 2008 at 2:00p
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If you're a sadist, you'll love this one. A whole lot of fail in the charts to follow, but maybe if we study it enough, we just might learn something. If we have enough time, we'll get to the defense, but thought the "offense" would make a better case study to start with. Enjoy!

14:56 - 12:46 1st Quarter, Punt
LoSDown/DistFormationTypePlayerYards
OSU-12 1/10 Single Back Bunch Run Herron 2
Rehring (+1) pulls to the right side and delivers a stiff block, but Cordle (-1) is unable to get across to cover Rehring's man who ends up making the tackle.
OSU-14 2/8 Shotgun Two Back Pass Small 1
Small lines up as the second back and peels out to the right. Decent protection by the line, but Boeckman (-1) does not lead Small at all and he has to wait for the ball before picking up a short gain.
OSU-15 3/7 Shotgun Three Wide Run Herron 2
USC blitzes two linebackers and a draw is called for Boom. There's plenty of daylight, but Ellison makes an excellent tackle, stopping the play for a short gain.
Drive Notes: The draw was a curious call on 3rd and 7, but if Boom beats Ellison he's off to big yardage on the play. Alas, it's the first of many three-and-outs on the evening for the Buckeyes. Trapasso, standing at his own five, does a decent job of pinning McKnight on the sideline on the punt.
11:51 - 3:06 1st Quarter, Field Goal
LoSDown/DistFormationTypePlayerYards
OSU-18 1/10 Shotgun Three Wide Run Boeckman 4
Boeckman keeps the all on an option right with Boom traling. Ballard (+1) does a nice job of sealing off the end.
OSU-22 2/6 Single Back Twins Run Pryor 4
Pryor, in for his first play of the game, fakes a handoff to Boom and keeps the ball around the left side. Ballard occupies Cushing just long enough for Pryor to get the corner and minimal yardage.
OSU-26 3/2 Shotgun Four Wide Pass Robiskie 8
Boeckman is back in the shotgun with Small lined up deep in the backfield, but split out. Everson Griffin is offsides for the Trojans and Boeckman completes a short pass to Robo on the left side for the first down. Nice pickup, but would have loved to have seen Todd take a shot down the field on the freebie.
OSU-34 1/10 Single Back Bunch Run Herron 6
Pryor back into the game running without a huddle, and hands the ball off to Boom (+1) for a tough inside run. Rehring (-1) is smoked by his guy, but he runs past the play and is sealed off.
OSU-40 2/4 Pistol Pass Hartline 4
Boeckman is back in the modified pistol (with Saine to his left and Rasta behind him). He fakes a handoff to Wells and then rolls right before completing a nice ball (+1) to Hartline on the right sideline for a first down. Saine was open running underneath as well.
OSU-45 1/10 Shotgun Three Wide Pass Sanzenbacher 15
Mo Wells is lined up in the backfield but split to the left and Pryor rolls left and fires a nice pass (+1) to Sanzenbacher on the left sideline for another first down. Person (+1) provides good protection on Pryor's blindside while Browning picks up nobody (-1).
OPP-40 1/10 Single Back Bunch Run Herron 5
Boeckman hands off to Boom, who makes Maualuga miss (+1) before picking up tough yards up the middle.
OPP-35 2/5 Shotgun Three Wide Pass -- 5
Encroachment out of Maiava is good for the first down. The play looked to be a draw to Boom, but the penalty prevented it from getting off.
OPP-30 1/10 Shotgun Three Wide Run Pryor 4
Quarterback draw out of Pryor, who makes a couple guys miss before being brought down. The line is still actually looking good to this point.
OPP-26 2/6 Single Back Bunch Run Herron 5
Boom (+1) with some more tough running up the middle. Browning (+1) does a great job picking Cushing up off the edge and Boone (+1) was five yards down the field blocking on the play.
OPP-21 3/1 Single Back Three Wide Run Boeckman 2
Sneak out of Boeckman to move the chains.
OPP-19 1/10 Shotgun Three Wide Run Browning -5
Browning (-2) flinched, drawing the offsides penalty.
OPP-24 1/15 Pistol Pass Robiskie 5
Saine lined up to the left of Boeckman, with Boom behind. Both stay into block and Boeckman completes a nice pass (+1) to Robiskie on the left sideline. Great protection on the play, but USC only brought the four down linemen.
OPP-19 2/10 Shotgun Three Wide Run Herron 2
Boeckman stays in on 2nd down and hands off to Boom on a draw for short yardage to the right side. Boom actually has a decent hole, but it closes fast and Cushing makes the stop.
OPP-17 3/8 Shotgun Three Wide Pass Herron 12
Boeckman throws a nicely executed middle screen to Boom who picks up good yardage (+1) before Maualuga makes the stop. A flag is thrown on the play, but later picked up.
OPP-5 1/G Shotgun Four Wide Run Pryor -4
Pryor on a quarterback draw, but it's snuffed out for a loss after Person (-1) decides that he'd rather not block anyone on the play.
OPP-9 2/G Shotgun Three Wide Run Boeckman -4
Boeckman is going to run an option with Boom to the left (short side), but Rehring (-2) is driven back 5 yards by his guy, blowing the play up in the backfield.
OPP-13 3/G Shotgun Two Back Run Boone -5
Boone (-2) is called for rocking back out of his stance. Senior. Leadership.
OPP-18 3/G Single Back Bunch Run Herron 5
Tressel plays it conservative and runs Boom up the middle to center the kick.
Drive Notes: The best drive of the night is undone by penalties and other mistakes out of the veteran line. Boone and Browning are each whistled for penalties while Person and Rehring make blocking mistakes of their own. What was once a promising 1st and goal from the five became a third and goal from the 18. It's interesting to note that not once did the team attempt to pass once they got it down to the five. The Buckeyes settle for a Pretorius field goal and take an early 3-0 lead on a drive that eats up over eight minutes.
0:33 1st Quarter - 14:15 2nd Quarter, Punt
LoSDown/DistFormationTypePlayerYards
OSU-20 1/10 Single Back Bunch Run Herron 2
Boeckman in at quarterback and once again, Person (-1) decides that he'd rather not really block anyone and Boom is held to a short gain on the last play of the 1st quarter.
OSU-22 2/8 Shotgun Two Back Run Boone -5
Boeckman in the shotgun with Ballard as the 2nd "back" opposite Boom. Boone (-2) comes up out of his stance, drawing a penalty. Boone extends arms in disbelief. Please.
OSU-17 2/13 Shotgun Two Back Pass Herron 7
Looks like the same play that was to be run before Boone picked up his penalty with Ballard joining Boom in the backfield. Ballard does a nice job (+1) picking up the blitzing Matthews and the pass is completed underneath to Boom.
OSU-24 3/6 Shotgun Three Wide Pass Hartline 0
Good pressure out of the Trojans as Cushing forces Boeckman to throw earlier than he probably wanted to (Cushing also delivered the same type of hit that was called on the Buckeyes later on for roughing). Actually a nice pass, but Hartline can't come down with it because Pinkard makes a heck of a defensive play on the ball.
Drive Notes: Another three-and-out. Boom is again the only real offense on the drive, but Boone's rocking put the offense in a quick hole. Trapasso gets off a good punt that goes out of bounds, denying McKnight a return.
10:51 - 6:34 2nd Quarter, Missed Field Goal
LoSDown/DistFormationTypePlayerYards
OSU-24 1/10 Shotgun Four Wide Pass Small 0
Small starts up lined up in the backfield, but goes in motion to the right side. Boeckman rolls out to the right and throws to Small with room to run, but he takes is eye off of the ball (-1) and it falls incomplete. Beanie is right behind Small on the sideline and is none too pleased.
OSU-24 2/10 Shotgun Four Wide Pass Robiskie 9
Boeckman gets decent protection and actually has a couple of options before firing to Robo underneath where he cuts up for a few more yards on the play (+1).
OSU-33 3/1 I-Form Run Herron 0
USC responds to the Buckeyes' formation by jamming nine guys into the box and Boom is easily stopped for no gain. Person actually holds his block for a while, but I have a feeling USC would not have called this play on 3rd and 1. The Buckeyes are bailed out by a facemask penalty, however.
OSU-48 1/10 Shotgun Three Wide Pass Robiskie 0
Boeckman rolls right and makes a terrible throw (-1) off of his back feet to Robiskie 13 yards downfield. A near interception and for good measure, Rehring makes the wrong read (-1) and could have been called for holding as his guy got pressure on Boeckman, forcing the early throw.
OSU-48 2/10 Shotgun Two Back Pass Small 8
Pryor is back in and throws a beautiful bubble screen (+1) to Small, leading him on the play for a nice pickup. Sanzenbacher delivered a key block (+1) on the outside.
OPP-44 3/2 Shotgun Three Wide Pass Sanzenbacher 10
Boeckman gets good time to throw as Boone (+1) forces Matthews completely outside. Nice completion (+1) to Dane, but he is lit up immediately after making the catch.
OPP-34 1/10 Shotgun Four Wide Run Pryor 15
Pryor back in at quarterback and USC loads the box. The play is supposed to be a throw to the left, but Pryor (+1) cuts back to the right for a first down pickup. Even against this Trojan defense, it hardly looks like he's running, but he's flying.
OPP-19 1/10 Shotgun Two Back Pass Small -7
Boeckman completes another nice bubble screen to Small, this time leading him well and he cuts back for good yardage, taking the ball down to the USC three. But Sanzenbacher (-2) is whistled for holding downfield and the play is null. Good call.
OPP-26 1/17 Pistol Pass Saine 5
Immediate pressure on Boeckman and he does a good job of getting the ball out to Saine quickly (+1). For as fast as Saine is supposed to be, the lumbering Cushing stays with him in coverage and tracks him down after a short gain.
OPP-21 2/12 Shotgun Three Wide Pass Robiskie -10
The touchdown that wasn't. Immediate pressure on Boeckman again because Person (-3) is not only beat off of the snap, but felt the need to tackle his guy to make up for his sin. Robo (+1) had beaten his guy by seven yards, but Boeckman throwing off of his back foot almost enabling Wright to close on the ball.
OPP-31 2/22 Shotgun Three Wide Run Boeckman 2
Boeckman keeps the ball on an option right for a short gain. If he would have hit Boom on the pitch, room was there for damage. Rehring (+1) actually does a decent job picking up the blitzing Maualuga.
OPP-29 3/20 I-Form Pass Robiskie 0
USC rushes only four, but Matthews beats Boone (-1) around the left edge to hurry the throw. A mixup between Boeckman and Robo means the ball comes nowhere close to being complete. I'm still not sure what Robo (-1) was doing cutting his route off well short of the first down, but I'm not paid $3.5m a year to figure those things out.
Drive Notes: Yet another promising drive ruined by penalties. Small got the ball to the three only to be called back on the Sanzenbacher holding penalty. Two play later, the Robo touchdown catch was reversed thanks to Person and the Buckeyes would go on to see Pretorius miss a 47-yard field goal. Pryor was in on only two plays on this drive.
3:36 - 2:49 2nd Quarter, Interception (Pick-Six)
LoSDown/DistFormationTypePlayerYards
OSU-31 1/10 I-Form Pass Boeckman 0
Both Rehring (-1) and Boone (-1) are torched on the play and Boeckman has to throw the ball away before getting pulverized.
OSU-31 2/10 Shotgun Three Wide Run Pryor 10
Pryor fakes a handoff to Boom and keeps it up the middle for a first down. Browning (+1) occupies Maualuga long enough for Pryor to slip through and despite Ellison trying to destroy the freshman, he pops back up.
OSU-41 1/10 Shotgun Four Wide Pass Boeckman 0
Boeckman (-3) gift-wraps a pick-six for Maualuga and then proceeds to get steamrolled inside the five while attempting to stop the score. Hartline had a chance at making a stop on the return but Rey ran right through it. Yes, he may have stepped out of bounds at the five, but who's going to harp on that when the final spread was 32?
Drive Notes: Immediately after Pryor picks up a nifty first down run, Boeckman makes a play that no senior quarterback should ever make, locking in on Hartline and telegraphing the throw all of the way.
2:22 - 1:00 2nd Quarter, Fumble
LoSDown/DistFormationTypePlayerYards
OSU-20 1/10 Shotgun Four Wide Run Pryor 11
Pryor is back in the game immediately after the Boeckman pick. A pass is called, but Person (-1) is once again smoked by his guy and Pryor tucks the ball before picking up a nice chunk of yardage (+1) and his first collision and jawing with Taylor Mays (who doesn't look all of that big next to TP).
OSU-31 1/10 Shotgun Four Wide Pass Hartline 0
Pryor is still in at quarterback and gets good protection as he rolls right before slightly misfiring to Hartline 45 yards downfield.
OSU-31 2/10 Shotgun Three Wide Pass Hartline -2
With Boeckman back in, Cordle (-1) gets burned by his guy, flushing Todd out of the pocket and to the left where he hits Hartine on an underneath route for minimal gain.
OSU-29 3/12 Shotgun Four Wide Pass Hartline 17
Browning (+1) does a good job of picking up Matthews off of the edge and Boeckman has ample time to throw, connecting with Hartline for a slant and some YAC (+1) to get the first down.
OSU-46 1/10 Shotgun Two Back Pass Robiskie 2
USC brings five and the pocket stands giving Boeckman time to find Robo for a short gain.
OSU-48 2/8 Shotgun Two Back Pass Boeckman 0
Boone (-2) makes the wrong read and doubles down on Rehring's man, leaving the blitzing Matthews with a clear shot at Boeckman's blindside, which causes a fumble. Cordle (-1) has a perfect chance to fall on the ball and keep the drive alive, but lineman hands and all...
Drive Notes: Two straight drives have been killed by turnovers now and Buckeye fans are probably thinking about heading into the garage to turn the car on for a nice nap.
0:08 - 0:00 2nd Quarter, End of Half
LoSDown/DistFormationTypePlayerYards
OSU-20 1/10 I-Form Run Boeckman -2
Boeckman takes a knee to put a merciful end to the first half.
Drive Notes: Not much time to do anything after the Chekwa interception and chances are something bad would have happened anyway, so the taking a knee was actually a positive in this instance.
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5:44 - 3:45 3rd Quarter, Punt
LoSDown/DistFormationTypePlayerYards
OSU-19 1/10 Shotgun Three WidePass Small 4
Bubble screen to Small on the right for a short gain. Browning peeled out to block, but completely missed Cushing (-1) allowing him to make the stop.
OSU-23 2/6 Pistol Run Saine 10
Pryor is in and hands off inside to Saine, who makes Maualuga and Matthews miss (+1) on his way to a first down. Just having Pryor on the field meant Cushing couldn't crash down on the run and had to respect the fake handoff/keeper.
OSU-33 1/10 Shotgun Three Wide Run Saine 0
Pryor still in at quarterback and runs the same exact play to Saine who is met for no gain. Cushing and Ellison both crash the run hard, but the pass was there should it have been called.
OSU-32 2/10 Shotgun Two Back Pass Boeckman -15
With Rehring out, Kyle Moore blows right by Andrew Miller (-1), flushing Boeckman from the pocket and forcing the left-handed throw that was called intentional grounding (-1).
OSU-17 3/25 I-Form Pass Boeckman -2
USC brings the heat, but Boeckman actually has a little bit of time to get rid of the ball. He doesn't find anyone open and is brought down behind the line of scrimmage (-1).
Drive Notes: A nice inside handoff to Saine is good for a first down early in the "drive", so the Buckeyes call the exact same play again, only USC is waiting on it this time. Then the intentional grounding call on great pressure, followed by a sack on 3rd and 25 dooms this series. Trapasso gets off his only bad punt of the night really and the Buckeyes turn the ball back over to the Trojans down 28-3.
1:33 3rd Quarter - 14:52 4th Quarter, Punt
LoSDown/DistFormationTypePlayerYards
OSU-20 1/10 Single Back Two Tight Run Mo Wells -2
Rasta gets the pitch left and is eaten up in the backfield by Cushing. Boone (-1) is somewhat abused looking for a guy to put a hat on.
OSU-18 2/12 Shotgun Three Wide Run Mo Wells 7
Pryor is back in and pitches to Wells after getting immediate pressure in the backfield. Nice gain of seven on the play as Rasta gets the ball to do what he does best -- work the corners.
OSU-25 3/5 Shotgun Three Wide Run Pryor 0
Pryor has time to throw, but can't find anyone open and tucks the ball before barely getting back to the line of scrimmage. USC splits their defensive tackles and ends wide with a spy on Pryor.
Drive Notes: Not exactly the way you want to answer USC's last touchdown, but by now the Buckeyes are pretty much out of it. Trapasso gets off another fine punt, pinning the Trojan return guy (Carswell) near the sideline of his own 31 where he signaled for a fair catch.
13:13 - 13:07 4th Quarter, Interception
LoSDown/DistFormationTypePlayerYards
OSU-25 1/10 Pistol Pass Boeckman 0
Cushing comes on a blitz and Boeckman (-3) just kind of throws the ball up in the hope that Cushing will stop hitting him. Ellison is right there for the easy interception and right about now, Buckeye fans would be fine with never seeing Boeckman take another snap again.
Drive Notes: Boeckman looked like a freshman on this play. Just terrible. To his credit, he did pound his fist on the turf after the pick, so he does appear to have a pulse.
10:08 - 8:29 4th Quarter, Punt
LoSDown/DistFormationTypePlayerYards
OSU-21 1/10 Shotgun Four Wide Pass Sanzenbacher 2
Good protection for Pryor as the Trojans only rush four. He rolls out to his right, not seeing anyone open and then shuffles the ball to Sanzenbacher for a short gain. Props for creativity, though it didn't amount to much.
OSU-23 2/8 Pistol Pass Pryor -5
The Buckeyes were hit up for a delay of game call.
OSU-18 2/13 Shotgun Three Wide Pass Herron 4
Good protection out of the line and Pryor dumps the ball off to Boom in the middle. He's promptly popped.
OSU-22 3/9 Shotgun Four Wide Run Pryor 7
Called keeper as Pryor takes off for the left sideline, but is tackled short of the first down. Looked quick, again, though.
Drive Notes: Pryor got every snap on this series, but by this time, USC had caught on to what he could bring to the table and were jamming the box to stop him. Take away the delay of game call and maybe there's a chance they could have got something going.
4:35 - 1:20 4th Quarter, Punt
LoSDown/DistFormationTypePlayerYards
OSU-21 1/10 Shotgun Four Wide Run Herron 9
Nice looking option to the right with Pryor hitting Boom on the pitch at the last minute. Boom (+1) put his head down and picked up a few more yards at the end because of that. Note to staff -- this play will be a nightmare for mortal (non-Trojan) defenses to stop. The Bloomin' Onion One agrees.
OSU-30 2/1 Shotgun Four Wide Run Pryor -3
Designed quarterback draw is blown up by about three Trojans that just happen to be loitering in the Buckeye backfield. Boone (+1) drives his man out of the way, however.
OSU-27 3/4 Shotgun Three Wide Pass Small 9
Cordle (-1) snaps the ball when Pryor isn't looking, but has the poise to quickly pick it up (+1) and fire a pass out to Small, who picks up the first down. Person's man went right by him with the faintest of blocking attempts put on him (-1).
OSU-36 1/10 Shotgun Four Wide Pass Small 7
Pryor hits Small on another bubble screen, leading him perfectly with the throw (+1).
OSU-43 2/3 Shotgun Two Back Pass Robiskie 0
Mo Wells misses the blitz pickup (-1) forcing Pryor to get rid of the ball early. Robo can't quite come up with it due to good coverage.
OSU-43 3/3 Shotgun Three Wide Pass Pryor -6
USC comes with a linebacker blitz and it goes right past Browning (-1). Pryor has minimal time to look downfield and is sacked.
Drive Notes: I liked seeing Pryor get the last two series of the game. They came right after Boeckman threw a ball up for grabs and it was intercepted, so consider the message sent. Based on what we now know about snap-sharing for Troy, it was nice to get him these extra snaps. USC did have a lot of backups in at the time, but USC's backups could start just about anywhere else in the nation.

If you're keeping score, the final results look somewhat like (with the caveat that it's hard to grade receivers on plays as they're often out of camera view -- especially on runs):

  • Boeckman -7
  • Person -6
  • Boone -6
  • Cordle -5
  • Rehring -3
  • Browning -2
  • Small -1
  • Sanzenbacher -1
  • Miller -1
  • Wells -1
  • Robiskie +1
  • Hartline +1
  • Ballard +2
  • Saine +2
  • Herron +5
  • Pryor +6

What really stands out is the terrible play out of Boeckman and the line -- especially the interior of the line. Rehring's numbers would have been worse if he had not been hurt, in fact. And as many would have guessed just by watching the game the first time, Boom and Pryor were just about the only two that graded out well.

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