Breaking Down The Ohio State Defensive Clinic: Part 1

Comments Show All Comments

Hovenaut's picture

Can't stop watching Darron Lee blow up the block attempt by the Oregon TE, THEN make the tackle.

All in a day's work.

Appreciate the analysis, as always, Ross.

Hindsight is, and in, 2020

There are times where the worst thing that can be spread is misinformation

HS
BucksWinItAll's picture

This^. The Oregon TE thought they would just high 5 each other and Lee blew him up then made the tackle.  Awesome play

HS
awlinBrutus's picture

The Oregon RB didn't do anyone favors cutting inside either.

MICHIGAN STILL SUCKS

HS
buckeyeEddie27's picture

Dude seriously. Lee broke that man's will to live. Looked like a high schooler picking on a 6th grader. MOVE CHUMP!

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

I Believe In Ohio State.

HS
Sanantonefan's picture

And then to add insult to injury, the heat-seeking missile we know as Darron Lee tackles the ball carrier and lands on top of the poor, average, Oregon football player. "Thanks for cushioning my landing bro!"

You Got Barbecue Back There!?!?!?!

HS
11UrbzAndSpices's picture

Someday, Urban will be gone. But I hope Coach Mick is a lifer.

If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special.

HS
BuckeyeinSavannah's picture

At least I hope he isn't like my Grandma. She took all her great recipes to the grave with her.

No sense in hoarding all that knowledge.  Pass it on

HS
THEjarzenski's picture

It also helps that the ball carrier decided to try to run over the TE and right into Lee's waiting, bone crushing arms.

HS
zenshade's picture

Dude saw what Lee did to the Tight End, and became blinded by the sheer awesomeness of it.

That or Lee took control of his soul, after eating the Tight End's.

HS
brutus0717's picture

I think that's a top 5 fav from the entire postseason for me. When the play happened live I thought maybe the TE was caught off guard, but clearly that's not the case. Lee ate his lunch and threw the garbage on top of him!!

"We gotta go win this next game and make the State of Ohio proud!"-UFM

HS
BuckeyeInTheDesert's picture

And this is why I come to this website over all others. Can't find this stuff anywhere else! Thank you Ross. And thank you elevenwarriors for being so bad ass, and doing such a great job of distracting me from my job.

"Nothing cleanses the soul like getting the (Mark May) kicked out of you"

HS
OSU_1992_UFM's picture

You are welcome

Spring football is like non-alcoholic beer.  It looks like what you want, but only intensifies your desire for the real thing--Earle

HS
buckeyeEddie27's picture

Btw The box score in the last image warms my Heart. Up by 15 in the 4th. 8 min left. Ore ball, 2&22 on their own 10 yd line. Lol.

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

I Believe In Ohio State.

HS
zenshade's picture

Yeah it was that point, I think, when I first thought "game over... NATIONAL CHAMPS!!!" and the joy began to swell up, tempered now and then by thoughts of bizarre scenarios that could give Oregon a chance. But those thoughts quickly vanished. You could tell by body language (and the way the offensive line and Zeke had gashed them up the middle) that they were a defeated team, and would be getting thoroughly blown out if we hadn't given them four easy turnovers (3 of them completely unforced).

HS
buckeyeEddie27's picture

Felt the exact same way. Could have won by 45 points sans turnovers. What a glorious evening.

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

I Believe In Ohio State.

HS
BeatTTUN's picture

Good job Ross

I saw Ryan Day hang 62 on Michigan...His hair was perfect.

Go Buckeyes Beat Michigan

HS
buckeye phi's picture

I was under the impression that we also often employed the '4-3 under' (with the '3 technique' tackle lined up away from the tight end side).  The theory being that this frees up the '3' a little more to wreak havoc.  Was that (admittedly, somewhat dated) information incorrect - or have we shifted our philosophy a bit - due to personnel concerns (especially, with the '1').

I was also under the impression that Coach Ash likes to call - what we used to call the SAM - the 'walk-out' linebacker (for reasons clearly illustrated by your graphics)

Not to be a pest - but I read recently that Coach Ash has virtually eliminated the 'Strong and Free" designations from his safeties - and that they are now typically lining up on a 'field and boundary' basis - much like the corners.

Or am I crazy?

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. - Will Rogers

HS
Earle's picture

Ran the Under under Fickell, mostly.  Primarily Over under Ash's oversight.

Roger?

HS
buckeye phi's picture

Thought I saw it after Ash's arrival too, Earle.

Thanks, though -

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. - Will Rogers

HS
Ross Fulton's picture

OSU was primarily an 'under' defense for a long time under Heacock and Fickell. Once Ash came he installed the 4-3 over.

SAM or walkout linebacker its the same position -- the field linebacker.

Same thing re Strong and Free safety. As I state in the article, one plays to the field and one plays to the boundary. Whether you call them strong or free or boundary or field, in practice its the same.

HS
buckeye phi's picture

Thanks for the clarification, Ross -

Great article, by the way -

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. - Will Rogers

HS
Crimson's picture

Similar to the team's improvement from a simple scheme from Ash, so too has my football IQ risen since Ross has come to 11W.  Continuous thanks.

I also got a chuckle out of the Will, Mike, and Lee (Sam) linebacker names.

HS
faux_maestro's picture

Someday that position will be thought of as "The Lee Position" kinda like the "The Percy Position" on offense.

They're all chickens. The rooster has sex with all of them.

HS
GrandTheftHarley's picture

This Buckeye front you describe, Ross, is not too dissimilar from the old "split" defense I used to coach with my feeder school back in the day. Playside 3Tech (B gap) and 7Tech (D gap to sideline) ; backside 2i Tech (A gap) and 5Tech (C gap); So-called "75" front. Second level: Mike- A gap; Will- B gap; Sam- C gap; Rocket (Rover)- D gap to sideline.

I am not very smart, but I recognize that I'm not very smart. --- W.W. Hayes

HS
apack614's picture

Lee literally blew this block the hell up. That's what speed and power does Oregon... Give a shot sometime.

Earle for MOD in 16', it'll be the last best thing to ever happen to him.

HS
pduncan710's picture

What I really like about this play, other than Lee just destroying that blocker, is that it looks to me like the whole defense is doing their job. Even if Lee just stands up the blocker he has outside leverage, Curtis Grant is filling nicely inside-out, Apple loses the receiver blocking him and has outside leverage and Bell also beats the same receivers block and is in good position. I don't know if this was a straight hand-off or some kind of read by Mariota, but if Mariota did keep it looks like Bennet and Bosa are in good position to stop him. Just a great overall defensive play.

HS
apack614's picture

Yes! Grant and Lee read the guards perfectly seeing they all down blocked which hints run right of the bat so they went from buzzing their feet to coming down hill and filling the whole while maintaining control of the outside. It was a all around great play by everyone involved.

Earle for MOD in 16', it'll be the last best thing to ever happen to him.

HS
theevol1's picture

It just looks like there are 13 Buckeyes on the field in that play! It was a busted blocking assignment up front. Someone from the O-line has got to get into the second level to disrupt Curtis Grant. The push that we got at the snap made it look like a pass or screen blocking scheme. By the time the running back got outside of the tackles, he was dead meat. Lee didn't need to make that tackle and that is a testament to everyone else on the defense. I'm glad that he did make the play because it was just so awesome and it was really a microcosm of how the Bullets handled Oregon all night. It looks like the tight end expected to be blocking a little cornerback, but he was quite mistaken and paid the price.

DBU? LBU? You can keep those. The Ohio State University is 9unitsU.

HS
apack614's picture

It's plays like that that will raise Mr. Lee's draft stock exponentially!

Earle for MOD in 16', it'll be the last best thing to ever happen to him.

HS
theevol1's picture

No doubt about it! I'm sure there will be plenty of great film on this young man by the time he's finished in Columbus. I wish he would stay 5 more years! lol

DBU? LBU? You can keep those. The Ohio State University is 9unitsU.

HS
apack614's picture

Completely agree my friend

Earle for MOD in 16', it'll be the last best thing to ever happen to him.

HS
Icouldnotgofor3's picture

And the final result of K.I.S.S.  ???

Saban on a cart eating cold pizza

HS
Montana silver bullet's picture

What Lee did to that TE block was the story of that game-

Montana Silver Bullet

HS
Sanantonefan's picture

I wouldn't call that a block. I'd call it "marginally getting in the way" and then regretting it, kind of like a pedestrian getting in the way of a speeding bus.

You Got Barbecue Back There!?!?!?!

HS
BuckeyeForever's picture

And when Cardale ran over their DT...both sides of the ball were bigger, stronger and faster!

You got to have a lot of balls, to play golf the way I do!

HS
Horvath22's picture

Thanks, Ross. Much appreciated. 

HS
BUCKEYE3M's picture

Great article, Ross, looking forward to part deux. I have to remind myself I'm not the simpleton you and Kyle make me feel like when you lay things out so clearly. Or, am I... 

HS
BUCKEYE YANKEE's picture

I always enjoy the technical info. While different styles of defense can be effective, I particularly like the aggressive approach the Buckeyes are employing now. And at the end of the year they were playing like eleven guys on a mission, and all of them knew what the mission was.  It was not the case in the two previous seasons. That can only happen if both defensive coordinators are on the same page, and coaches Fickell and Ash certainly are. Before coach Ash arrived, the units appeared disjointed, and too often there were one or two players out of position and it would allow for big plays. While coach Fickell played on, and coached for, dominant aggressive defenses in the past, it didn't appear everyone bought into that aggressive style. Bring in coach  Ash and his in your face style of play in the secondary, and it seems like the perfect marriage. With the number of defensive players returning and the talented players that have yet to see the field, is it too early to ask;  Have the S_____ B______ returned.  I hope they are,  I'm afraid to say it just yet.

Charlie Lockhart

HS
Horvath22's picture

By end of the year, I assume you mean: Wisconsin, Alabama, Oregon. There was a dramatic change between the M game and Wisc. I read reports of a "Come to Jesus" meeting of the defensive players and coaches after the M game. I have never seen it mentioned by the coaches or players, but "something" certainly happened.

HS
BUCKEYE YANKEE's picture

I always enjoy the technical info. While different styles of defense can be effective, I particularly like the aggressive approach the Buckeyes are employing now. And at the end of the year they were playing like eleven guys on a mission, and all of them knew what the mission was.  It was not the case in the two previous seasons. That can only happen if both defensive coordinators are on the same page, and coaches Fickell and Ash certainly are. Before coach Ash arrived, the units appeared disjointed, and too often there were one or two players out of position and it would allow for big plays. While coach Fickell played on, and coached for, dominant aggressive defenses in the past, it didn't appear everyone bought into that aggressive style. Bring in coach  Ash and his in your face style of play in the secondary, and it seems like the perfect marriage. With the number of defensive players returning and the talented players that have yet to see the field, is it too early to ask;  Have the S_____ B______ returned.  I hope they are,  I'm afraid to say it just yet.

Charlie Lockhart

HS
Frimmel's picture

Looking forward to part two. Helpful write-up as always.

You've got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight. 

HS
BUCKEYE YANKEE's picture

Oh yeah, everyone knew what was at stake against Wisconscin, they had to dominate. Then, the practices before the Alabama allowed them to clean up some things. Just think what the improvement could be before Va. Tech.

Charlie Lockhart

HS
SwernMeyer's picture

not sure which one i like better ? the film or the DLEE destruction of that poor TE trying to block him DLEE has another year puting that kinda juice on film and we'll see him drafted in the first or 2nd round playing on sundays 

A touch of greatness how cool would that be ..

HS
IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

What's even more beautiful about this defense is when we go up against Sparty and TTUN and Wisconsin with those power games we're still going to be stronger and faster than they are with the same defense and essentially the same personnel. We showed that in the B1G title game.

"I find your lack of kalua disturbing" - Darth Lebowski

HS
Ole Buckeye's picture

after Lee blows up that TE, on the very next play he knocks down a pass going to the slot receiver.

1st round pick next year. He's going to make everyone forget about Troy Polammalommalama-loo

HS
ohiobobg's picture

Thanks, as always, Ross.

I had so missed our Bullets!!!!!

"you can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning"

HS
gobucks96's picture

Just can't stop watching all of these made tackles!

HS
northbaybuck's picture

Question for anyone:  Does a player play one side all the time, or do they play the same technique (1,3 or 5) and flip sides based off of which side the TE lines up?

There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you. - Woody Hayes

HS
Ross Fulton's picture

Last year OSU did it both ways. They started out guys playing one side and sliding in and out. But about halfway through the year they decided that Bennett was being wasted sliding down to NG. So they kept him at the 3 technique all the time. But they kept Bosa on the offense's right side at all times.

HS
buckeye4life050233's picture

great question northbay.  I was wondering the same thing.  Lucky for us Ross has the answer!

HS
TURD_BUCKET's picture

Great write up, thanks for helping to educate the OSU nation.

“Being average means you are as close to the bottom as you are to the top.” John Wooden

HS
buckguyfan1's picture

Can't wait for part 2 Ross.  Great stuff.  Thank you.

Simplify...

HS
Nairion's picture

Ross, super excited about part 2.

Question: is call side (in your dline technique section) the same as strong side?

HS
buckeye4life050233's picture

I assume it is the same as strong side or whatever "qb" of the defense or play caller up in the box deems call side and they might send in a signal.  Much like when I was in high school and we had Roger and Leo for right and left depending on how we wanted to align.

HS
Ross Fulton's picture

The call side is the side where the "over" goes. In other words, the 3-technique is going to the call side. The 1-tech away from the call side. 

HS
selmer862's picture

Great work, as usual, Ross. I anxiously await Part 2! Thanks for putting in the hard work so lazy guys like me can sound smart during games.

"You don't win when you're too damned happy, and I like to win"--Woody Hayes

HS
unga's picture

Yankee,  I think the Silv__ Bulle__ are back!  Well, just a little afraid myself I guess.

HS
JohnnyKozmo's picture

Sounds like the philosophy on both sides of the ball is simplicity and repetitions, so everyone knows exactly what to do all the time because they can practice the same thing over and over.

This defense could be very special this year in year #2 in the system (and probably Ash's last year here if they repeat, IMO).

You're too stupid to have a good time. -Dalton

HS
coreyklein7322's picture

Ross Fulton is the man!!  I absolutely love these articles.  Would like to see more of them!! Ross's analysis is the main reason I follow this site.  The Seahawks and Sparty run very similar defense.  Very basic defense but if you have the talent (which we do) the Defense can be very tough.  Darron Lee did create a new "hybrid" type LB position with his success last season.  It is great that we can stay in "base" defense against a 4 WR spread thanks to Lee's versatility at SAM.  Seems to me like they did away with the "Star/Nickel CB" position or that Lee just assumes that role based upon offensive formation.  In other words, the SAM in base defense (vs traditional offensive formation) becomes the old "Star/Nickel CB" against the spread formation with no need to substitute.  Great concept b/c Lee can stuff run vs spread and still has athleticism to cover or blitz vs pass.  I wonder who our back up SAM will be in case Lee gets hurt?  Anyone know?

HS
pduncan710's picture

Chris Worley was Lee's backup last season. Was a close battle between he and Lee last spring, and was called out by Meyer as being great in practices but just never could take much playing time from Lee.

Also had a good Spring Game this year.
 

HS
ROCDC's picture

Ross-great job with the analysis.

1. Setting the front-how are they handling a pistol back with no te? Where are they setting the front? 

2. Just to be clear-when 2 is aligned in the backfield away from an olb such as an HB - the olb is aligning outside of the box away from #2? I think I see why - but just wanted to make sure. 

Thanks again - great stuff.

ROCDC

HS