The best prescription I ever saw for stopping a spread offense was what we did to Oregon in the Rose Bowl. Arkansas was also shut down by the same approach. In neither game did we give up on getting to the quarterback. We had blitzes that worked, whether by linebackers or off the edge. the qb never knew where it was coming from, only, for sure, that it was coming. We can't give up on that approach or , dare I say it? we need Heathcote back in the booth? ungh. its killin me. If we were fast enough to do it then, we should be able to do it now. study the films, see what we did & who (what position) made it work. Part of it may be that we don't have great man coverage, which means noone free to blitze. One other point: I applaud Boren, but when he has to pick up a reciever coming across the middle, he's likely to get beat by a really fast one. It will take a while for his instincts to really get honed.
Excellent article. However, the hurryup offense [HUO] has a few weaknesses, as does an undue commitment to it. Remember the Rosebowl -Oregon game against the Buckeyes. A decent, well conceived, defense simply kept Oregon's HUO off the field. Thus, several observations: The HUO can become gimmicky & disguise other flaws in an offense. So long as the gimmick works during the season, even the offensive coaches don't spot em. They buy into their own press clippings, exploiting one or two speed mismatches per game to run up the score. Eventually, a good defensive reader spots the mismatches & has the defense to have put on a full-scale attack, Then the HUO can't get past 3 & out. Our defense stays fresh. We sure did this to Oregon.
Another point: Watching the Florida vs Michigan bowl game a few years back. Percy Harvin was absolutely worn to a frazzel by the start of the 4th quarter. Michigan won. Too many plays on the backs of too few players will lead to 4th quarter collapse. This can happen to an offense just as well as a defense.
Another point: Sometimes the right thing to do is drop into a ball control offense. Use the clock. End the game.
I'm really enchanted with the prospect of spreading the field & finding the mismatch of the moment. I like the idea of HUO to shut down substitutions when we've got the right people on the field & they don't. Its a great tool for the tool box. But to win a game against a truly great opponent, we'll need more than one tool.
I think its safe to say what Coach Meyer said: he'll use the talent he has & get the playmakers the ball. I also think its safe to anticipate the team will keep scoring regardless of the score. If that creates hurt feelings, they might as well get used to it.
There may be times, though, when we really need to keep the other offense off the field or to run down the clock; you must have a great ball carrier for that. Urban can learn from Tressel.