Yes, they ran this look early when Michigan was still trying to establish the run with 22 personnel, but then abandoned it for long stretches when Speight started throwing on first down consistently. The 4-4 then came back in OT when M had the ball between the 5 and 20-yard lines.
That's true, I think Baker playing WILL forced that transition a little quicker than I expected, though. Against 11 personnel, WILL is still lining up over a B gap and playing between the tackles, whereas the SAM is only doing that against two-back sets, which is rare. I agree with your reservations about Booker's vision and the Curtis Grant comp, but if he earned the WILL spot on day one, there's a good chance he's at least got the goods to play between the tackles.
I've been of the mind that given how similar the MIKE and WILL roles are in this defense, Booker should be able to slide over. What are your thoughts?
It's been especially rare when Hooker plays an underneath zone instead of deep middle
hhhhmmm, I know there are occasional ads on streamable content, but it shouldn't on every video. Is this common for other readers?
I don't actually believe that perception is grounded in reality. While we all remember Darron Lee as being so good last fall, but he actually missed more tackles than anyone on this year's squad (according to the excellent cfbfilmroom.com). McMillan, specifically, has improved since last fall, cutting the number of missed tackles from 10 a year ago to five so far this season.
I think part of this perception may have more to do with guys occasionally getting caught out of position, which was something Baker has had issues with until this past week.
WR screens are tricky against man coverage since there is a defender with eyes on the intended receiver at all times, as well as one assigned to the blocker.
As for your question about the play linked, the quick curl was basically the same thing as a screen, as JT fired it out almost immediately. They likely didn't have any kind of screen audible to call (due to the reason above), so this was the next best option.
There's only so much a coach can do when the right tackle is getting beat like a drum and everyone in the stadium knows it. That kind of thing happens every week at every level (see: 'Denver Broncos Defense').
Don Brown just kept attacking that side with blitzes and stunts to keep Prince from getting comfortable, which had a domino effect down the rest of the line as they all felt the need to help. Prince is still only a sophomore, going up against a talented, veteran D-line. Sometimes the other guy just beats you, and there's only so much a coach can do there. Luckily, they found ways to run the ball the other way and squeak out a win.
JT's mechanics ebb and flow with his confidence, as is the case with many young quarterbacks (aka anyone under 25). When he's feeling comfortable, his balance is much better as he transfers his weight forward into his motion, which seemed to be missing on most of those off-target throws in the middle of the game.
Oddly, he seems to build confidence and comfort the better he runs the ball, so abandoning the QB run game because they can't throw is the opposite of what works for him. With no desire to limit his touches in the postseason, expect lots of carries for him early to get him going in the next game.
I think he checks Campbell first, but he's always intent on hitting Samuel leaking out of the backfield. Even though Campbell is even, Mich is in Man-2 coverage (man coverage with 2 deep safeties), so throwing vertically into that is always really risky. The play design was great for Curtis, in my opinion, but the contact at the line and the pressure around the left side forced JT into an off-balance throw.
A false start and some confusion while getting lined up derailed any chance to punch it in, so since they were just dumb mistakes, I didn't feel it necessary to include.
J.T. did hit Baugh on a nice 13-yard crossing pattern that was one of the better completions of the day, but it was still a couple yards short.
One easy way is to play more cover 3 buzz, allowing the OLBs that drop to the curl/flat zones to stay home against any cutbacks or misdirection. This also would allow the corners to play press coverage on the outside, at least until Michigan figures it out and starts running crossing routes. The only downsides to this approach are 1) a safety would be replacing Baker in run support inside and 2) this defense hasn't run a ton of it.
I talked about this some during the offseason, but OSU actually hammered the M defense with tempo last year: http://www.elevenwarriors.com/ohio-state-football/film-study/2016/03/68785/film-study-play-calling-in-a-no-huddle-offense
As for why they let the defense get lined up, my intuition is that Meyer feels that if Warinner/Beck can see the defense's alignment upstairs, they have enough counters in any alignment to advantage, and theoretically should always have the right play-call for how the defense is lined up. Some coaches value that more than catching the defense off-guard, but there's no right or wrong answer.
Thank you. My motivation has always been to help fans know a little something more when they're watching/talking/daydreaming about the Buckeyes, so I'm glad to hear this approach is working!
Sadly, no, otherwise you can bet that every single one of these clips would be from the all-22 view. Occasionally that film makes its way out into the real world for civilian use, but otherwise, I've found the 'spidercam' to be the next best option.
Completely agree with you here. Seems to me that the offensive staff seems hesitant to call plays they aren't confident the guys on the field can execute. That's why we see some frustrating play-calls on third downs instead of showing all kinds of new wrinkles each week.
I expect Sparty to run their Base 'Quarters' look against OSU given how successful it's been in the past, although I wouldn't be shocked to see them throw some C3 in there as well.
As for Michigan, they run a whole slew of coverages, on top of a bunch of blitz packages to keep offenses on edge. So, they'll definitely show C3, the question is just how much, and with what else?
The offense gained over 400 yards, went 10-17 on third down, and had four scoring drives to only two three-and-outs, so I wouldn't call this a poor effort by any stretch. It's not as if they weren't prepared, either. The opening drive was a perfect example of that as they expected the C3 and attacked it with precision.
The biggest issue, to me, was that the offense is being forced to call concepts that aren't necessarily core to their identity, meaning the young team that practiced in spring and fall camp wasn't spending all its time practicing these concepts. So, they're now forced to master the timing and execution of these concepts during the season when they're worried about healing injuries and installing the weekly game plan. This is far more difficult than most fans would assume, and not just like selecting a play from your Madden playbook. The more time they're forced to work on these intermediate concepts, however, the better they'll become, meaning defenses will likely ease off of their reliance on it.