Kyle Jones's picture

Kyle Jones

11W Staff

Chicago (via Cleveland)

Member since 12 March 2014 | Blog

Proud OSU alum with a serious Cleveland sports complex.
I spend way too much time on Twitter.


  • SPORTS MOMENT: Singing Carmen Ohio with Darrion Scott's giant arm wrapped around my shoulders on the field after the 2002 _ichigan game
  • NFL TEAM: Cleveland Browns
  • NHL TEAM: Chicago Blackhawks
  • NBA TEAM: Cleveland Cavaliers
  • MLB TEAM: Cleveland Indians

Recent Activity

Comment 15 Aug 2014

Glad you're able to take something away from these articles. If what we write is confusing, don't hesitate to ask questions, I'm more than happy to talk about this stuff for days!

As for 'getting the ball in space,' you're right, there is a much greater emphasis on that now. However, that's not the end all, be all. The goal is to make your opponent defend all 53.5 yards of the field horizontally, (aka SPREADing them out). The areas between the tackle or tight end and the wide receivers weren't being exploited much in the past, whereas now the slot/alley player is forcing teams to defend that space too. Watch a team like Baylor, and how their WRs literally line up on each sideline, and look at how much space is in between each defender. All of a sudden, defense becomes about making an open field tackle, which when the guy with the ball is Dontre Wilson, Jalin Marshall, or Curtis Samuel, that's a very difficult task. However, you have to attack that area just as much as you attack the sideline and in between the tackles. It's really all about creating a balanced attack where the defense can't overplay one area.

Comment 09 Aug 2014

It absolutely changes. In fact, they don't plan on going to the second level player at all until the defense tells them what they're doing. The first step for both players in a combo is to the fat guy in front of them, and then roll off to the second level after the fat guy has declared where he's trying to go. At the college level, where nearly every defense is a "1 gap" defense, it's easy to run these combos, since you usually know that if the DT is trying to go towards one hole, the LB behind him will be going the opposite way. In the case of Linsley and Hall, the DT tried to go toward the outside of Hall, meaning Linsley knew the LB would be coming his way and became his responsibility. On the other side, the DT tried to split the gap between Norwell and Mewhort, meaning the LB would try to go in the A gap, making him Norwell's responsibility. Obviously, Norwell doesn't get there unless Mewhort gets over on the DT first.

Comment 02 Aug 2014

Yes, you're absolutely right. The red/white is more for identification purposes, similar to the way a defense will determine the strong/weak side of a formation and adjust their roles from there.

OSU likes to run to the red side whenever possible, but some teams (like Midhigan State), always put the 1 technique to the opposite side of the RB. OSU isn't going to stop running the play simply because of that alignment, they just tweak how it's blocked.

Comment 24 Jul 2014

We'll get more into that next week, but Heuerman was responsible for that guy inside, due to his alignment. Braxton was reading the OLB (I think his number is 41) who comes late into the picture after being held by Miller.

Hyde did a great job of reading that backside gap as the defense slanted that way. This is another area we'll cover in this series, but if the defender is already working that way, the line will ride them all the way sideways and let the back cut back against the grain. 34 was a master at not only knowing when and where to cut, but not dancing and losing his momentum along the way.

Comment 11 Jul 2014

You're dead on. OSU had more than a few 3rd and Longs that came up short by only a yard or two. More often than not, they were the result of Braxton checking down to a safety valve like Hyde and hoping they could get yards after he catch. Definitely a safe play, but we'd all like to see completions beyond the sticks.

Comment 11 Jul 2014

If anyone can find one, I'd love to see it. Sadly, I did this all manually, going through the play-by-play of each OSU game last year. has a downloadable database of every play last year that I'm terrified to break into, but doesn't have it broken down by situation on the regular site, sadly...

Comment 10 Jul 2014

Completely, 100% agree. The 2013 team was excellent at avoiding 3rd and Longs (they didn't face a single one against Northwestern). But, when they did face 3rd and Longs, they became a different team.

I'm all for focusing on getting into good 3rd down situations, but there has to be improvement in the drop-back passing game for the Buckeyes to have any shot at beating an "elite" defense.

Comment 04 Jul 2014

You guys are both paying attention, which I definitely appreciate. I'll try to clarify these two points a bit:

  • Against a "pro-style" offense (like the one in the diagram), OSU will likely run the version of the "Under" front I showed. I say this with confidence since that's what Arkansas ran a ton last year (and Wisco before that) under Ash, as well as what OSU has run under Fickell. 
  • Against Spread teams (like OSU's offense in the Spring Game), the D-Line will line up in an "over" front, which is what Ross usually calls out. In this case, the SLB becomes the "walk-out" LB, aka "Star" from the past (played by Lee/Worley). The defensive line will line up like so:
  • In that situation, Perry lined up at the "WLB" spot, which is effectively an inside linebacker, next to the MLB. However, I would be surprised if OSU regularly kept Lee/Worley in as the SLB lining up over the TE this fall. Ash has said in the past that the SLB on the line needs to have size, and the WLB is the best athlete. His words, not mine. Perry has played in that spot for a couple years now, and fits the criteria. I wouldn't be shocked to see him lining up there against pro-style teams.

There is no way to know for sure yet what the defense will do, as we won't see the "base" defense for OSU the fall. 

Hope that helps. Keep asking questions.

Comment 12 Jun 2014

Thanks. I understand the desire to give it to Hyde from an emotional standpoint: Good OL + Good RB = more than 2 yards

But they tried to do that 2 plays before and were lucky to get 3 yards. MSU was looking for that play, and knew how to stop it. You have to try and give your players the best chance to succeed.

Comment 12 Jun 2014

With the twin receivers to the wide side, OSU knew Sparty would put two guys out there. By using the width to their advantage, it started those defenders even further from the ball. You can see Taiwan Jones shaded that way before the snap as well, so it helped with the numbers advantage.