Braxton's TD catch was on a fake screen, from what I can tell
Thank you. Unlike Tim, Eric, and many others that contribute here, I am not a writer by trade. The heads up is appreciated (and now fixed).
JT's management of tempo is something I didn't get into here, but you're right, is definitely another curveball in the red zone. He's getting a defense that is likely tired and under more pressure given the situation, meaning OSU can be aggressive, and he seems much more comfortable operating in the hurry-up, no-huddle systems.
Not that I want to open this can of worms, but Jones is much like Maryland's QB, Perry Hills, in that he's much more dangerous on broken plays and scrambles than designed carries. There was a play in the first half where Curtis Samuel came in jet motion and was set up to catch a flare screen on the outside, but tripped and fell down almost immediately after the snap. Jones was the only Buckeye that could see this, so he tucked and ran upfield, picking up seven yards LINK TO GIF HERE: http://i.imgur.com/pxMWm5h.gif
He seems plenty comfortable taking on tacklers in the open field, but when asked to be a traditional runner tasked with identifying holes, he looks very unnatural.
Hills is the same way, and he hurt OSU really only by calling deep pass plays, waiting for the rest of the defense to get downfield in coverage, then breaking out of the pocket and picking up yards. That's not a really sustainable path for either player (please, don't tell me how many yards he had as a response, there are exceptions to every rule...), and just as a Maryland fan probably won't see the same kind of production from Hills next week, OSU can't bank on getting Cardale outside in those situations regularly.
Having a guy that can do that is a luxury, not the foundation for a game plan.
On paper, it's brilliant. No different than employing a third-down running back, nickel defense, or any other personnel package. As we all know though, the QB position is very unique. The ability of both players to accept their roles and switch spots mid-way through a drive isn't normal. So to answer your question, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
They did run it a few times the other way, including the play or two right before Zeke's first TD. For whatever reason, all three runs came on the left, but we'll see it on the right as well.
It can actually be more difficult, since there are different rules for virtually every look. As you can see in this screenshot of 'Power' from Meyer's old playbook at Utah, the rules for the play-side guard, tackle, and tight end is different for each alignment.
But, for a zone blocked play like the basic inside zone, virtually everyone's roles stay the same across the board. It's obviously not that simple, but zone blocking is usually much easier to shape to whatever look comes your way.
Meyer's style has been to prod in the first half, showing a lot of looks and concepts to see the defense's reaction. If they don't immediately blow the doors open in the first quarter, they tend to look their worst in the second quarter before making necessary adjustments and turning it on in the second half, especially in the running game. That was the case in a number of games last year (MSU, Indiana, Alabama, Oregon), and has remained the story this year.
Since Meyer took over, OSU has outscored opponents by some crazy proportion in the second half, showing that this probably isn't by accident. The recipe works, even if we sometimes get impatient and forget how long it took to put some opponents away in the second half.
Yes, much as OSU's running game adjusted with Power-O, counters, and other gap-blocking schemes, it's easy to let a defense run itself out of plays if you can see it coming.
It appeared as though WMU was doing a good job of getting their OL up to the second level and engaging with McMillan and Lee, while the DL wasn't getting blocks in time to create penetration like we're used to. At the same time, McMillan didn't play all that well with the oncoming guards, and was out of position multiple times when he did have a chance to stuff the play. Meyer noted that today in his presser, and I'd expect that he'll spend a lot of time working on that this week, since Indiana is a good zone running team.
However, much as teams had done to OSU the previous couple weeks, the Buckeyes started slanting away from the side with the running back, allowing the DL to occupy multiple blockers and keep the LBs clean and able to make plays.
Yes, although it's rare to see one side of the line '2-gapping' like the 2-tech tackle and the 6-tech end would seemingly be doing in the alignment described. The Seahawks and Patriots do it a bit, but it's not common at all at the college level. If OSU ever saw that look though, they would seemingly have a pretty easy running lane to the strong side, with the tight end sealing the LB while tackle gets to the ILB.
I honestly have no clue. There have been countless coaches that are able to call plays successfully from both spots, so it's not as if one is clearly better than the other. To me, the issue of overall communication between the sideline and the booth needs to be better though. If Warinner isn't getting the info from upstairs that he needs to adjust, then yeah, maybe he should be up there. But he obviously must feel like he's most valuable on the sideline where he can speak directly to the unit as a whole. A QB coach like Herman or Beck can easily communicate with the QB when they're on the bench by phone or headset, an OL coach doesn't have the same benefit.
Great, great question. I'd love to see the offense include more packaged plays featuring an inside run couple coupled with a slant to Thomas behind it, as they've done in the past. With NIU sending OLBs hard against the rush and dropping their corners in soft coverage, it would seem like an easy pass to complete.
As for Vannett, he kept getting the ball on arrow routes to the flat, which was exactly where the NIU defense was most vulnerable. That seemed a case of where the offense was going to take what the defense was giving, much as they did last year when defenses sold out on the Bear front and tight coverage and the RBs would catch 4 or 5 flare passes a game.
The entire 'Braxton at QB' package seems to take the entire offense out of rhythm. Until he throws a pass, all 11 guys on defense just crash down on the run, and with the exception of the play that brought us his spin move against VT, it hasn't really netted huge results.
That's not totally true. The key part of the option is leaving a man unblocked by the line, and effectively taking him out of the play by the man without the ball. Seattle kept running the zone-read last night, but the GB ends were staying home in case Wilson kept, and forcing the ball to go to Lynch. However, that end had taken himself out of the play, essentially blocking himself by doing so, and allowing the Seattle OL to focus on the remaining players in GB's front 6.
Even when the QB hands the ball off, the option has value. Had there been no 'option' then the Seattle line would've tried to take out the end man on the line (or whomever was being 'optioned'), with an actual blocker.
I thought the same thing. OSU ran Power-Read a bunch, as well as the traditional zone read. I was really surprised they didn't start calling for more designed QB runs until the 4th quarter either, which of course seemed to work just fine.