Hitting Rewind: Offense vs. Michigan State

By Jason Priestas on October 21, 2008 at 6:00p
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As further proof that I don't yet know what I'm doing, I've decided to take a slightly different approach to the Hitting Rewind feature. I hope to make this a regular aspect of the season, but quickly found out that finding time to do a UFR-style review for each game would be impossible because of the time they took to complete. That Hippie Up North puts together amazing reviews for every week of the season, but he's not exactly rolling into an office every day like the rest of us. So, I've settled on a more visual approach where I'll try to take the two or three key plays on each side of the ball and give them a closer look. Hope you enjoy.

Pryor's First Run

Thanks to a muffed kickoff, the Spartans had the Buckeyes pinned back inside their own 10 yard line for the opening drive of the game. On first down, Beanie was stuffed for just a one yard gain and the home crowd was imploring Michigan State to snatch the early momentum. On 2nd and nine, the Buckeyes lined up in a shotgun with two wide receivers and Brandon Smith in as an H-back. The call was the read option and with some nice blocking, good moves and deceiving speed, Pryor raced out for a 32-yard gain on the left sideline, instantly seizing momentum.

The Buckeyes would go on to punt a few plays later, but Pryor's first run was huge for the fact that it snatched momentum, flipped the field position battle and got him off to a hot start in a game where he'd need to play well.

Michigan State lines up in a 4-3 with man coverage.
The middle linebacker, Decker, reads run and starts to fill, while end Brandon Long stays home as he has been taught all week in practice.
Pryor sees one guy to beat and three blockers for three defenders, so he pulls the handoff out.
Using his speed, he gets outside on the containment and starts to hit the corner.
Brandon Smith's block on the edge was huge, spring Pryor for 25 additional yards.
He gets the sideline, but a Greg Jones trips him up to save a touchdown.

Beanie's Reverse Field Jaunt

After the Buckeyes had held the Spartans to a three-and-out on their first offensive possession, they started their second drive of the game in good field position thanks to a bad point. On 1st and 10 from the Michigan State 47 yard line, Cordle was whistled for a false start and the ball was backed up five yards to the Ohio State 48. Then with one brilliant reverse field run, Beanie Wells single-handedly put the team into position to score their first points of the game. Three plays later, Pryor did just that.

The Buckeyes come out in their pistol with three wide receivers. Saine is lined up to Pryor's left and Beanie is behind him. Michigan State is in a nickel with Decker lined up deep next to Jones.
Brewster gets a helmet on Jones, but Browning is unable to get to Decker because of his depth.
Michigan State gets good penetration against the left side of the Buckeye line, bottling the run up. Decker is closing the backside lane and this play is destined to go for a loss.
Beanie stops and delivers some justice to Decker with a rare forward stiff-arm.
After freeing himself of Decker. Beanie begins to reverse field with Saine tracking Jones and yes, Rehring pwning someone at the top.
Beanie gets to the right edge and has Pryor "lead" blocking for him.
Pryor earns some respect from the hogs and Beanie is tackled after turning -4 into +20.

Pryor's Touchdown Throw to Robiskie

On the Buckeyes third possession of the game, they moved quickly to the Michigan State six yard line before getting hit up with a chop-block penalty negating a Beanie touchdown run. It was 1st and goal from the Spartan 21 yard line and after getting 14 yards on their first two plays, the Buckeyes were facing a 3rd and goal from the MSU seven yard line. A play-action is dialed up and Pryor makes a nifty move to avoid the end and find Robo in the back of the end zone to make it 14-0. That would be too much, too quick for a team that likes to run the ball 40 times per game and the state of Ohio erupted in joy as the offense was now 2/2 on red zone attempts.

The Buckeyes come out in an offset I featuring Smith and Beanie with Ballard in at H-back. Michigan State shows a 4-3 with man-press coverage on the outside.
MSU linebacker Eric Gordon blitzes the run inside with Decker looking to plug the middle as well.
Spartan left end Trevor Anderson doesn't bite on the fake and closes in on Pryor. At the bottom, Robiskie's route takes him upfield.
Pryor has Ballard for a probable touchdown but in his youth, opts for the fake on Anderson. Robiskie is starting to cross the end zone.
After eluding Robinson, Pryor focuses downfield...
... and finds a wide-open Robiskie sitting in the back of the end zone.
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