Even though it's the same overall philosophy, OSU's defense is far stronger on the edge with the Darron Lee SLB role. He plays outside of the box so well that teams haven't found a ton of success there, and instead try to attack the middle and seams more often. It is similar, but the weak spots are a bit different.
That's a great point, as you're right in the fact that rhythm is extremely important when it comes to execution. The 2014 passing game built so much confidence from the MSU game that they didn't hesitate to throw the ball in the second half of the year, regardless of who was under center. This year's MSU game saw the opposite snowball effect, as the offense seemed to lose confidence in their ability to make any plays the longer the game went on.
This photo should be the cover-page to the 2016 media guide
It would only be fair to note that:
- AB was bought in what was effectively a hostile takeover by InBev, but that was over a decade ago so making a big deal out of it seems lost on me, given the beer is still brewed in the US. The same goes for Miller & Coors, which had been 'owned' for years by South African Brewers, who just merged with InBev. However, the reason InBev bought AB so easily was because...
- The last Busch heir effectively ran the company into the ground, and was so dependent on good ol' boy tactics (especially when it came to marketing) that left them in the dust when Coors Light became really popular around in the early 2000s, which has left their new owners playing catch-up ever since. That has led them to...
- Owning most of those same craft breweries we all love. Goose Island, Blue Point, Elysian, Golden Road, Kona, Red Hook, and many others are part of the ABInBev portfolio. This same strategy has been copied by basically every big brewery around, who are all looking to simply buy their market share back. The good news is most of those microbrews are allowed to operate their breweries independently, but now get better distribution thanks to their corporate overlords (i.e. Goose Island is available coast-to-coast now).
Slice/Split-zone (whatever you want to call it) was a big part of the OSU game plan in each game against Sparty. It has had mixed success, usually due to whether or not the strong safety crashes on the wham action. I'll get into why it didn't seem to take off in the 2015 game (see HERE) next week though.
I wasn't implying at all that Philly and Thomas are the same player, just that getting them 80%(?) of the way there seems to be enough to bridge the gap between college and pro ball. Both have very different skill sets and ran very different routes at OSU, but given how polished Thomas is at many of the details of the position (hand placement on the line, body position, etc...), I think he could be even further along that Philly was (who started in the Super Bowl).
Braxton is a wildly different story IMO, and I'm surprised at how much love he's gotten from scouts so far, given how little he's played the position. At the end of the day you can't teach athleticism though...
This is completely my opinion (and not backed up by any hard data), but I think it's fair to say that virtually every D-1 team that utilizes 'spread' concepts now also includes some version of an RPO. I also suspect that most, if not all, NFL teams also include them in game plans now, as you can have a statue of a QB like Joe Flacco and still execute them to their fullest potential.
The interesting thing for me will be to see if more traditional college offenses (like Michigan or Iowa), will start to run them as well, since they should be able to run 'Power' and an outside hitch. They'd just have to do it from the shotgun, since the QB can't turn around to hand off after taking the snap under center if he has to make a read.
I felt like there would be times where they would use tempo and run the more simplistic offense that resulted in JT or Zeke carrying it 4 times in a row and pick up a few first downs, only to see them come out and fire an incomplete pass to Thomas followed by a sweep with Braxton. Before you know it, the momentum is gone and the drive stalls.
Yes, the penalties and mistakes slowed things down too, but that will happen to anyone, and is why good offenses don't score every time they get the ball. However, intentionally flipping the script and switching philosophies from possession to possession (or sometimes play to play) is an avoidable mistake that seemed to constantly plague the 2015 team.