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Upon Further Review 2014: Offense vs. Navy - 1st Quarter

Shaun OSU's picture
September 1, 2014 at 2:37pm

Using Brian's excellent work at mgoblog as a template, I have attempted to break down every offensive play for OSU in the 1st quarter against Navy. If there is interest, I will try to continue doing this for the rest of the game, possibly 1 quarter at a time as it is quite time consuming.

Below you will find a chart with each play broken down. I have attempted to give out pluses and minuses to players as best I can. I obviously don't know the exact assignment for every player on every down, but usually I can make an educated guess. There will always be cases where I get something wrong, but I will do my best.

Ln Down Dist O Form RB TE WR/H D Form Type Play Player Yards Personnel Notes  
OSU 25 1 10 Pistol 3x1 1 1 3 3-4 Pass Packaged Play - Hitch or IZ D. Smith 14 OL: Decker, Elflein, Boren, Price, Baldwin; JT, Elliott, Devin Smith, Spencer, Heuerman, Michael Thomas  
OL appears to block IZ, with Elliott ready to take the handoff out of the pistol. JT sees the alley defender run blitzing at the snap, so the read is clear: throw the hitch, which now has Heuerman and Spencer to block the 2 DBs. Spencer (+1) gets a nice seal block to spring Smith. Heuerman's DB stays back and he doesn't end up touching him, but his presence makes the DB hang back and allows Devin (+1) to get straight upfield for about 14. If Devin lets JH set up the block he might have been able to take it up the sideline for more, but can't complain about 14 yards on the first play. +1 to JT for making the correct read. (Catchable pass [CA], 3 [routine catch], RPS +1)  
OSU 39 1 10 Shotgun Twins Rt, TE Wing Lt 1 1 3 3-4 Pass PA Sweep Rt Pass - Verticals Wilson Inc D.Smith, Vannett, Wilson, MT, Elliott  
Play action sweep right to Elliott, JT looks left first, but D. Smith and Vannett are both reasonably covered. JT goes to his second read and sees Wilson open behind the LBs and in front of the safeties in the middle of the field. The throw is a bit low and out and front of Wilson (-1) and it is incomplete after hitting off his hands. Announcers say that DW should have caught it and I mostly agree. Not a great throw by JT but WRs need to bail out a young QB there. Instead of momentum and a 20 yard gain it's 2nd and 10. 3 man rush only, but protection is good (CA, moderate difficulty catch dropped [2]).  
OSU 39 2 10 Pistol 2x2 Twins Rt, TE tight left 1 1 3 3-4 Run Packaged Play: Power Right or WR Hitch Elliott 0 Heuerman, Marshall, C. Smith, D. Smith, Elliot  
This looks like a packaged play to me, since both Jalin and Devin run hitches and expect the ball instead of run blocking. Neither of the hitches are wide open, so the give is probably the right read for JT (+1). Heuerman and Baldwin do an okay job doubling down the DE (+0.5, +0.5), and Elflein pulls around and manages to get pick up a filling LB (+0.5), though I would like to see him get there quicker. The problem is that Navy had their playside safety coming full speed downhill to the line at the snap, leaving him unblocked at the point of attack. Elliott sees this and tries to cut backside as soon as he gets the handoff, which looks like the right decision, as there could be some yards there. Unfortunately, he slips on the cut and falls down untouched at the LOS (-1).   
OSU 39 3 10 Shotgun 2x2 1 1 3 3-4 Scramble Dropback Pass turned scramble Barrett 7 Heuerman, Elliott, Jalin, Corey Smith, Spencer  
Dropback pass, Price (-2) gets whipped immediately by a blitzing LB, forcing JT immediately out of the pocket. Decker, Boren, Baldwin hold up just fine (+1, +1, +1), though JT scrambles out of the pocket and allows Baldwin's guy to get a hand on him. It looked like Spencer would have been open over the middle for a first down if JT didn't have to immediately scramble. As it is, JT does a good job avoiding the sack and makes the smart choice to pick up what he can on the ground since throwing back across the middle on the move is a bad call. Punt.
Drive: Punt - 1:14 - 21 yards (Punt downed at the 1)
OSU 43 1 10 Shotgun Split Backs (H in backfield), TE wing rt 1 1 3 3-4 Run Sweep Right Wilson 9 Vannett, Elliott, Wilson, Spencer, Corey Smith  
Vannett motions left to right, speed sweep handoff to Wilson. Baldwin (+1) seals the DE and then at least gets in the way of a LB (though he falls down). Vannett gets a nice cut on a LB and takes him out of the play (+1). Elliott (-0.5) tries to cut the alley player as a lead block, but is easily handled and the defender manages to get a hand on Dontre. Price (-0.5) just needs to pick up the DE when Baldwin leaves for the LB, but he does not stay with him and that guy ends up getting another hand on Wilson to spin him around. Wilson (+1) does a great job of hitting the seam hard and his speed lets him spin forward for an extra few yards even after getting tripped up.
Navy 48 2 1 Pistol 3x1 TE wing left 1 1 3 3-4 Run PP - Hitch or IZ Elliot 3 Vannett, Elliott, Wilson, Spencer, Corey Smith  
Packaged play. JT looks to be reading the alley player to decide whether to hand off or throw the quick screen. The alley player sits about halfway between the slot receiver and the end of the OL, waiting to see what JT does. I imagine that the read for JT (+0.5) is to hand it off unless the alley player crashes down, so he seems to do the right thing here. Decker (+1) collapses the DE down the line, but Vannett (-0.5) pulls through the hole to lead block and for some reason tries to double on the DE who was already getting pancaked instead of picking up the LB who makes the tackle. Boren (+1) stalemates his NT at the line, but with great awareness, sees a blitzing backside LB threatening to shoot the backside A gap and blow up the play. He staggers and abandons his NT (maybe not smart, but it worked) and gets enough of the LB to prevent him from blowing up Zeke in the backfield. Elfein (-1) wants to block the backside LB, but he blitzes backside A gap so he can't get a hand on him. By the time he tries to find the playside LB, he has already made the tackle. Elliott (+0.5) does a good job seeing the blitzing LB and cutting away from him to avoid a TFL. He then cuts straight upfield and powers through a tackle to turn a gain of 1 into a gain of 3.
Navy 45 1 10 Shotgun Split Backs (H backfield), TE wing Lt 1 1 3 3-4 Run IZ Read Marshall 5 Rod Smith, Jalin Marshall, Corey Smith, Spencer, Vannett  
IZ Read to Marshall. The DE is being read. I think Price can do a better job of avoiding the DE to make the read more straightforward, but I won't knock him for that. The DE, after getting a pop from Price, crashes hard at the mesh point. JT needs to do a better job of riding the mesh and making the DE choose who to go for. As it is, JT hands off (-0.5) with the DE attacking Marshall and only a step away. If JT rides the mesh better and keeps it, he has nothing in front of him except a safety 10 yards downfield. Marshall (+1) does a great job of spinning out of a possible TFL and dragging the DE for a 5 yard gain. There are great blocks all across the field here, so this could have been a big play if JT does a better job with the read. Price (+1) pancakes a filling LB and Boren (+1) works off his double team to pick up the other LB. This could have been a big play, but Marshall does a good job to grind out 5.  
Navy 40 2 5 Shotgun Split Backs (H backfield), TE wing Lt 1 1 3 3-4 Run Sweep Left Read Marshall 6 Rod Smith, Jalin Marshall, Corey Smith, Spencer, Vannett  
Sweep left to Jalin. JT appears to be reading the backside OLB, who stays home. JT (+0.5) properly hands off to Jalin. The blocking at the LoS is great: Vannett (+1) turns his guy outside, Elfein (+1) turns the DE inside, Decker (+1) engulfs the playside LB. Boren is trying to work off his double team to the backside LB, but gets caught up in the wash and can't get to him since he scrapes behind Decker blocking the other LB. I won't dock points here because it's a tough block and his presence forces the LB to scrape backwards instead of filling the hole. Rod Smith lead blocks through the gaping hole that has been created and is eyeing up the safety, the only guy in his line of vision. Rod (-0.5) needs to be checking for scraping LBs before lining up the safety 20 yards downfield. If he does, he could have picked up the tackler and it would be Jalin 1 on 1 with safety 15 yards downfield. I like those odds. I only docked Rod half a point because he's not an OL and he probably isn't experienced enough lead blocking through a hole for the necessary block to be routine. Marshall (+0.5) hits the giant hole hard but can't make the scraping LB miss. This could have been a touchdown, but instead is 6 yards.  
Navy 34 1 10 Shotgun Split Backs (H backfield), 1x2 1 0 4 3-4 Pass (Sack) PA 3 Verticals Barrett -9 Wilson, Devin Smith, Spencer, Rod Smith, Michael Thomas  
OSU has some good momentum after 4 positive run plays in a row, so the coaches dial up a play action 3 verticals to try to hit the big play. Unfortunately, Elfein (-2) is beat right off the snap by a nice spin move from the DE. Boren (-1) is free and in position to help pick up the DE, but doesn't react until he's blown by. As soon as JT gets his eyes downfield after the PA, the DE has engulfed him for a 9 yard sack. Decker (+1) had good protection, Baldwin (+1) held his own, and Price (+0.5) gave ground but kept his guy in front. Evan Spencer was probably going to be open for a 20 yard gain in front of the safeties if protection is decent. This sack is a killer and is part of why the coaches called the game so conservatively. We had run the ball down inside the 35 with relative ease, but a simple 4 man rush ended with a 9 yard sack and killed our chance at a TD.  
Navy 43 2 19 Shotgun 3x1 1 1 3 3-4 Pass Dropback Pass - Drag Route Thomas 8 Rod Smith, Michael Thomas, Wilson, Heuerman, Devin Smith  
Dropback pass on 2nd and long. Navy rushes only 3 and plays soft zone behind. Decker (+1), Baldwin (+1), and Boren (+1) hold up well to give JT a clean pocket. JT (+1) looks left first but his first option is well covered. He comes back to his second read: Thomas dragging from right to left across the middle. Wilson draws the OLB with him on his out route and Heuerman sucks up both inside LBers with his curl over the middle. That leaves Thomas (+1) open on the drag, which JT sees and delivers an accurate pass. Navy quickly comes up and sticks Thomas after he turns upfield, making it an 8 yard pickup. Overall, a well executed play that took what the soft defense gave them. The only problem is that the 9 yard sack last play put them well behind the sticks, leaving a 3rd and long. This offense can't afford to have negative plays at this stage in development. (Catchable pass [CA], 3 [routine catch]).  
Navy 35 3 11 Shotgun 1x3 1 1 3 3-4 Penalty Holding Price -10 Corey Smith, Heurman, Spencer, Wilson, Rod Smith  
Dropback pass on 3rd and long. Navy ILB shows blitz and does indeed blitz on the snap. Price sees him all the way but the LB gets Price leaning inside then bulls past him on the outside. Price (-2) is beaten badly and forced to tackle him so that he doesn't get JT killed. JT steps up in the pocket nicely and still tries to find a receiver downfield, but ends up pulling it down and scrambling for what he can get, short of the first down. It comes back anyway due to the penalty. Baldwin (+1), Decker (+1), Boren (+1) all hold up well on their blocks. I'll give JT a (+0.5) for stepping up in the pocket then dragging defenders for an extra yard or two on the scramble.    
Navy 45 3 21 Shotgun 1x2, TE wing right 1 1 3 3-4 Tap Pass Tap Pass right Wilson 16 Wilson, Spencer, Corey Smith, Heuerman, Rod Smith  
Wilson comes in motion and JT gives him a little tap pass in stride. Heuerman (+1) gets enough of the DE that Baldwin should be able to take him over and then gets to the next level to block a LB. Baldwin (-0.5) does not manage to stay with the DE after JH's help, but Wilson breaks that arm tackle fortunately. Price tries to cut a LB, mostly misses, but slows him up enough to be useful. Spencer (+1) does a great job blocking an OLB and creating a lane for Wilson to burst through. Rod Smith (+0.5) picks up a guy downfield. Corey Smith (-0.5) needs to attack his DB better. He never got a hand on him and a more aggressive block may have allowed Wilson to bounce outside for a TD. Wilson (+1) gets the most out of the run that he can, hitting the lane with speed, breaking the first arm tackle, then falling forward. Very good play, just not enough to overcome the sack and hold.  
Drive: FG - 4:25 - 28 yards


Offensive Line
Player + - Total Notes
Decker 6 0 6 Played like the anchor LT OSU needs. No noticeable breakdowns, some good run blocks.
Elflein 1.5 3 -1.5 Not a very good 1st quarter for the guy who was supposed to be our second best OL. Can't get beat by a Navy DE for an easy sack. Drive killer.
Boren 5 1 4 Pretty good so far. Maybe inflated points because I gave him points for pass protection even though Navy's NT probably wasn't much of a threat.
Price 1.5 4.5 -3 Not a good start. Beaten badly twice, once forcing a scramble and once with a costly holding penalty when trying to hit a PA pass downfield.
Baldwin 5.5 .5 5 Good start so far. Solid in pass protection and just one minor blip in run blocking.
Skill Players
PLayer + - Total Notes
Barrett 4.5 .5 4 Good start for a young QB. Not asked to do too much yet, but mostly correct in his reads. Would like a better throw to Wilson but very solid through 1Q.
Elliott .5 1.5 -1 Not a good 1Q. Can't slip at the LoS and need to get a better block.
R. Smith .5 .5 0 Just blocking through 1Q.
Wilson 2 1 1 2 good runs, need to catch that pass though.
D. Smith 1 0 1 Good YAC on first play.
Spencer 2 0 2 Good downfield blocking.
Thomas 1 0 1 Found open space on his drag and made the catch.
C. Smith 0 -.5 -.5 Needed to be more aggressive downfield blocking, IMO.
Heuerman 1.5 0 1.5 Pretty decent blocking so far.
Vannett 2 .5 1.5 Mostly good blocking.


Let me know what you guys think and please let me know if you see errors.

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