Braxton is running one of those wheel routes everyone was saying wasn't called. Both the safety and corner jumped on it, which is what left Thomas so wide open. JT just didn't throw the ball.
I don't disagree at all. Could have been they were setting up to call for the screen in a similar situation later, but didn't have the chance.
The sentiment overall seems to be either the play-calling is to blame or the players were. I think the truth is that it's some of both. There were definitely some calls the coaches would probably like to have back, but they probably also felt limited in what they could call because of the execution. It was a perfect storm of bad all the way around.
They ran it a couple times in the second half with that double-wing set of Baugh and Vannett lined up behind the line. They usually ran it right at Calhoun who was biting on the handoff to Elliott and Barrett picked up a couple nice runs. This was easily the fewest number of plays this offense has run all season, which makes it hard to say 'why didn't they run XXX more?' because they just didn't have as many chances as we're used to. Hell, they only ran 17 plays in the ENTIRE second half.
It could've been a packaged screen, however it doesn't look like anyone is left un-blocked as an option man. The screen action might've just been to try and suck the OLB or safety outside to help remove an additional guy from the box.
Haha yeah, re-watching this game frame-by-frame was exactly how I wanted to spend my Sunday.
But, things become much clearer the second time around...
They tried to get Thomas on a couple flash screens in just this situation, one of which he dropped, the other was completed for an easy five yards. I'm honestly not sure why there wasn't more of it, but it seemed like any time the offense would take a step forward, they'd immediately stub their toe with a missed assignment, bad pass, or dropped ball leading to difficult third down setups.
Ultimately, when playing against a very good defense this offense simply made too many mistakes and paid the price for doing so.
I'm less worried about the rushing yards ranking for a couple reasons:
1) OSU is facing 41 carries per game, which is 6 more than last year's average, but they're only allowing 3.69 yards-per-carry, good for a respectable 29th nationally.
2) However those yards are really skewed by Perry Hills' running in the Maryland game: http://www.cfbstats.com/2015/team/518/rushing/defense/gamelog.html. Nearly all of those yards came from scrambles instead of designed runs, and if we remove that game from the stats, their YPC ranking would jump to 21st.
As noted, the Penn State/Barkley woes can be attributed in large part to Perry's absence, as the issues were corrected against Rutgers.
Yes, Sparty definitely has the most talent of anyone in the conference, especially on the OL, but certainly haven't played like it to this point. Part of that story is due to the injuries on the OL, but other than Burbridge, they don't have any major threats on the outside. LJ Scott has shown flashes of excellence, but there must be a reason he has yet to take the reigns as the lead RB. However, if that OL can get healthy and jell in time for 11/21, they could be tough. However, every single metric out there shows that Indiana is every bit as potent of an offense, and the Buckeyes were able to survive that matchup.
It's hard to say whether Kwon or Perry is responsible for the back that stays in to block, since his initial push forward was delayed. He may have been blitzing and simply reacted to the blocking and roll-out from the QB, or he had the RB while Perry dropped to a 'robber' or 'rat' zone which is a short zone that mirrors the QB and takes away any crossers.
That is an odd-front, it's the 3-3-5 nickel look that OSU uses a lot on passing downs to leave all three LBs on the field.
I don't know if he's gotten worse under pressure as much as he's faced more of it this season. The MSU O-line is a mess thanks to injuries, as they were playing their 3rd-string Center on Saturday. If they haven't gotten healthy by Nov 21st, it's going to be a very long day for Cook through no fault of his own.
Yes, PSU ran to the tight end side a lot, where the DE (usually Bosa) was lined up in the C gap between the tackle and TE. That meant he was responsible for that gap, while the OLB (Booker and Williams after Perry's injury), should've taken the D gap outside the TE. However, the RB would often bounce inside runs back to the outside, and the OLBs would get stuck inside and lose integrity on that edge, meaning no one was there. Watch Booker get caught inside here:
They had a lot of screen action attached to the option plays, but never threw one. They had a lot of success the week prior with RPOs, and having a screen as the third option is certainly not unheard of. Could be that JT never felt the need to throw it since he was usually picking up good chunks of yardage when he kept, OR that they just wanted to show it given that PSU likely knew the danger from the Maryland film.