Numbers at DL aren't a problem, it's production. Meyer consistently called out the backup interior players in the media this year, which tells me that the staff believes they have the talent in place already without moving someone over. I think it also showed that the staff views each of the 4 DL spots as a unique position. Washington is the rare exception that could be moved between them, but I don't expect that to be common.
As for Hubbard/Brown, coaches as a place like OSU have to make sure they're setting the kid up for success in the long term, meaning they won't move them to a different spot unless they feel like their future is there both once they're an upperclassmen, but also potentially in the NFL. For Brown, he may move to TE because that's where the NFL sees him. For Hubbard, I think they might still be trying to identify how to best put him in a position to succeed. Luckily OSU has plenty of talent at each spot right now (Baugh at TE, Holmes and Tyquan Lewis at Weakside DE), so they have the luxury of taking time to make these decisions.
Thank you and you're right, the Bennett hole will be tough to fill. I'd expect Washington to move back to the 3-tech next year, in hopes of showing his ability at the spot he'll actually play on sundays. Schutt/Munger/Hill have the chance to grab that nose spot if they want it though.
I really like Holmes at the weakside DE/LEO spot. Hubbard has been in the Tight End room enough that we don't know where he'll end up playing yet. Spring will be big for him, but that means good things for Holmes.
Also, one can write in Gareon Conley (with pencil) for the other CB spot, I believe. Also, Cam Burrows got a lot of playing time when Reeves was recovering from those concussions, so we can look in his direction first for NB.
The turnaround isn't super shocking, honestly. Michigan had been such a mess for the past two years that no one really knew what to expect from them schematically. There was little to really be gained from turning on the film, since there seemed to be little carry over from one game to the next which, in my mind at least, would make guys less able to read and react instinctively. Now, the opposite is true of both Wisconsin and Alabama. Those two did pretty much exactly what they showed everyone all year. If you go back and look at the scouting reports from Ross and I and match it up with the breakdowns afterward, there is very little that's new. That allows kids to play faster, when they recognize what he other team is doing immediately (just ask Malcolm Butler).
Against Oregon, the schematic preparation was impressive and the effort from the players was as well. My guess is the D was playing with so much confidence after the previous two games that any hesitation about recognition was gone, and guys like Curtis Grant were finally comfortable flying around.
Yes, he liked to use a 3-man line, but still had 4 D-linemen in the game. Guys like Thad Gibson and Nathan Williams acted as that stand-up DE/LB. The personnel swap was still LB for DB, whereas this year's team was going DT for DB, making the group on the field for third downs exponentially faster.
Going strictly by the numbers, it is a little surprising that they went to this look a week after registering 4 sacks against Rutgers. However, it could be that they made the call to use the 3-3-5 more against Penn State based on something they saw on film, and after getting 5 sacks in Happy Valley, they clearly knew they had stumbled on to something.
Regardless of production, it was clear that teams had begun focusing their pass protections toward Bosa, so even though his production didn't seem to dip, it made sense to be more diverse in their approach. Luckily, Lee's athleticism allowed them to do so.
The 2013 class rivals the 2002 class in terms of success already. Barrett, Elliott, Marshall, Wilson, Bosa, Lee, Bell, and Apple all played major roles on a national championship team. Might be the best class since '68...
They didn't seem to have a true "spy" as much as they just ran a lot of zone coverage, which allowed their Linebackers to always have an eye on Cardale in the backfield. It took him a little while to get comfortable in that game, but he really only had one long run over 10 yards that whole night, if I recall. Oregon did a decent job of containing him, but got mauled by the O-Line and EzE so it didn't really matter. Cardale's biggest threat that night was throwing over the top at literally any moment, not running by them.
I thought Apple played really well acting as the force player on the edge. He hasn't had to play that role often, but with the shifting of the OSU LBs, he basically had to play the role of the WILL on numerous occasions. I think he set a career high with 7 tackles as a result.
Still hard to say he played better than any of those other guys though. Definitely a unit-wide award this week.
Good catch. Too much excitement equals occasional brain farts.
That's a really strong breakdown. I hadn't noticed it in the Wisconsin game, but you're right, this one has been in the playbook for awhile.
You're dead on with how slim the margin of error is on pretty much every play, and that's why I try to frame these articles as more than "LOOK HOW FAST EZEKIEL IS!" or "BOOM GOES EVAN SPENCER"
The only thing I'd add to your comment though is that I don't think the LB played it that poorly. Had you shown that frame of him standing as the only guy in the hole, I'm pretty sure any LB coach in the land would take it. Unfortunately for him, the CB should've been calling out the crack block, alerting Hamilton to Spencer coming his way. Had he known, you'd imagine that a linebacker should be able to at least absorb the contact and create a stalemate, which likely clogs the hole for Elliott.
No, without that blocking it's not the Inverted Veer, it's a different play all together. However, the Power blocking scheme is installed on day 1, and every offensive linemen in the country could probably execute it in their sleep.
To be honest, it takes more practice to properly install outside zone blocking than Power, simply because there are so many "what ifs" with that concept.
Yes, normally a technique like this would be called at the line, but with Alabama in the Bear front so much that night, it likely was something the coaches knew would happen.
As for who would make the call, it would be on Price to declare that he can or can't make the reach block, alerting Decker to swap responsibilities.
Yes, you're correct in terms of where the QB is making his read, except there is a different blocking scheme in the Inverted Veer. It's actually blocked just like the "Power O" or "Dave" play as it was known under Tressel, where the play side blockers will block down (inside) and the backside guard pulls to lead through the hole. For this reason, a lot of coaches actually call it "Power Read" instead, just to make it simpler for their players to understand. Read more here: http://smartfootball.com/run-game/what-is-the-inverted-veer-dash-read#sthash.JzCrhP7x.dpbs
The biggest difference is that Rip/Liz is based around having one deep safety in the middle of the field instead of the two you see with Cover 4. Alabama can have eight guys near the line at the snap to help stop the run, as opposed to seven if you have two deep safeties. This helps against the run and allows a stud center field player to close off the middle, but puts a ton of pressure on the corners.
That's why adding the option to the jet motion is so critical. By no means am I saying DePriest is a bad player, far from it. However, he's gotten in trouble when he's guessed the QB's read incorrectly, as he isn't quick enough to recover and make a play on the ball carrier.
By rule, it's an ejection. Until the current group of elementary/middle schoolers that have grown up leading with their shoulders like a rugby tackle (instead of leading with their head) gets to college or the NFL, we'll be having the same debate.
Easiest way to not get that penalty is to make first contact with your shoulder pad, not your face mask. The QB gets hit lower, neither player risks head injury, and Ray plays the rest of the game. Make all the arguments about "I was taught this way or that way" but the facts remain the same.